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 ‘Flower’, acrylic on paper, 46 cm wide x 60 cm high, 2011, by Reinier Asmoredjo.
Reinier Asmoredjo (Paramaribo, 1962) makes ceramic objects, colorful vases, but is primarily a painter. A meticulous painter who seems to find technique important. He applies thin layers one on top of the other, with great eye for detail, in colors inspired by the sun, sourced from a rich imagination, skimming reality.
This work – ‘Flower’ from 2011 – struck me because of its simplicity. Asmoredjo does not work from a carefully thought-out theoretical concept. He paints everyday life as it manifests itself to him. Within that everyday life, women are his favorite theme. Maroon women and Javanese women, usually in profile, placed within an environment in which there is room for symbols. This work is atypical insofar that it is done in a style that is somewhere between abstract and figurative, because it is limited to only a few colors and because it also involves a quite modest use of symbolism. On the foreground is a flower with virginally white leaves. The flower coincides with a part of the woman’s forehead. The woman as a flower. That flower seems to, like a magnifying glass, direct the attention towards her hairdo. The round shape thereof is repeated as a frame or an encircling of the portrait. On the other hand, the round shape is challenged by the white square on the left of the canvas. It seems as though it is put there for that reason. Why he paints the woman in blue, is not immediately clear. Blue is often seen as a symbol of perseverance. A female characteristic perhaps, which is greatly appreciated by Asmoredjo? That is possible. It is good that the artist raises questions and thus stimulates the imagination of the viewer.
Reinier Asmoredjo is highly productive. With reason. His themes may be somewhat limited, but he tries out many possibilities in order to give shape to them in the most surprising way possible.
TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, June 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 Reinier Asmoredjo please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/reinierasmoredjo.
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on June 18, 2014 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on June 18, 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.