This Saturday, April 30th Arjan van Helmond's solo exhibition Vertical Thinking will be festively opened at the Albada Jelgersma Gallery. During this event the audience will get a sneak preview of the publication What speaks to us. Arjan van Helmond, published by Jap Sam Books (more events will follow).
The publication offers a broad overview of Arjan van Helmond's work from the past 12 years. It holds a moment of looking back, reflection, collecting and connecting.
They are not carefully arranged still lifes, rather a subtle ‘still for a moment’. As if the artist has pressed the pause button of everyday life, very briefly. - Marieke Jooren (author)
Working handmade, almost notational, almost always on paper, Arjan van Helmond seems to start and end in this condition of ‘exposure’, this nakedness to the operations of the world. Along the way – through a de- cidedly human-scale practice, with none of the overin- flated posture of the artist as hero – Van Helmond has posed a kind of lexicon of discovery and encounter: moments of reckoning, where the details seem to offer (or rather insist on?) the potential for meaningfulness. - Jeremiah Day (author)
Pre-order what speaks to us. Arjan van Helmond (release May 2022)
On view at Vertical Thinking will be diverse large scale paintings of trees, each painted from the same point of view. Trees have aways played a role in the work of Arjan van Helmond, symbolizing to him the process of growth. More recently he has become fascinated with their individuality. Science has shed more light on the way trees communicate, using a network of fungi that grow around their roots. This has allowed us to see trees more like individuals, worthy of our attention.
Van Helmond photographed trees in places that are meaningful to him. A eucalyptus tree in Lebanon. A birch tree in a park in Berlin. A palm tree in a garden in Dubai. Foregoing his usual loose way of working, van Helmond created a series of paintings of single trees, each of these trees from the same perspective, looking up the tree. Then he explored all the different possibilities and options that color, light and framing have to offer, exploring what worked best. In this he was inspired by vertical thinking, which describes a strict, linear process, where you rationally explore all options to get the best result.