In collaboration with art critic Rob Perrée, Readytex Art Gallery has developed a new, informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week: Kenneth Flijders, untitled.
Kenneth Flijders (1956) is an artist who is inspired by his everyday surroundings. By the landscapes that surround him, by people gathering for whatever reason, at the market or near their homes. Those ordinary, everyday events evoke memories, which in turn serve as inspiration. In those memories women seem to hold a prominent position. Women confident in the protection offered by their traditional Creole clothing, but also naked women.
Many scenes are depicted realistically, but Flijders often limits himself to a suggestion of reality. He leaves out the details and reduces the human figures to a shadowy collection of shapes.
This untitled work from 2013 is a great example thereof.
It is actually no more than two shadows on a rough background. It could be a couple in love. Young? Who knows. A distant memory? Could be. Their stance adds color to the pair and provokes fantasies about possible circumstances. With minimal means Flijders maximizes the possibilities for interpretation.
This painting is typical of this artist in yet another way. Throughout his entire career he has been experimenting with paint and other materials. This work becomes special because it has been done on unusual material: a coarse, unusual kind of paper made from banana fibers. The elemental image is enhanced by the unpolished surface.
Other works become increasingly significant because Flijders uses wood that has already served another purpose in its lifetime: doors or other panels which were once part of a home. He thus increases the credibility of the historical content.
Talking about history: I first associated this work with prehistoric petroglyphs. It is an association that will not let go of me.
TEXT Rob Perrée, 2014
TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2014
Want to take a closer, personal look at this work? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Maagdenstraat 44-upstairs, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Kenneth Flijders please visit the website www.readytexartgallery.com/kennethflijders.
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on January 14, 2014 and was published in Cultuur Enzo in de Ware Tijd on January 15, 2014.
Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process. You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.
Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.
Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.