In collaboration with art critic Rob Perrée, Readytex Art Gallery has developed an 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 he talks about ‘Untitled 2’, mixed media on paper, 56 cm wide x 42 cm high, 2013, from Kenneth Flijders.
The first association that comes to mind is an ancient petroglyph. Somewhere in a deep cave in France. This is most likely due to the earthy colors.
The striking thing is that Kenneth Flijders (Paramaribo, 1956) usually paints from reality, figuratively, with colors that are inspired by that reality, but which are inclined to add some extra sparkle, and to exaggerate a little. These often comprise of everyday scenery, scenes from a story, anecdotes.
This work is far removed from reality. It looks like a combination of shapes, or rather a jumble of shapes and lines. They overlap, they connect with each other, and they seek each other out. I consciously use words suggestive of activity, because the whole makes a moving and active impression. This is enhanced by the layers, the suggestion of depth in foreground as well as in background, by the whimsicality of the lines and the various gradations of brown.
It is also possible to look at this work as a top view. Then something remarkable happens. Then those two dark shapes to the left of the surface could be people who contact each other in one way or another. A greeting? A conflict? Shapes become bodies, lines become arms and legs. Your own imagination then takes hold of the work and a story might yet emerge. The suspected abstraction must then perhaps backtrack after all.
Kenneth Flijders says that he likes to experiment, with the material, with the style and with the content.
This work shows how valuable the result of such an experiment can be. The canvas holds an undeniable attraction and it intrigues because it is open to interpretation.
TEXT Rob Perrée, Florence, May 2015
TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015
Want to see this and other work of Kenneth Flijders ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Kenneth Flijders please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/kennethflijders.
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on May 20, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on May 20, 2015.
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.