Places We Have Never Been Before

Robbie Cornelissen, Karin van Dam

drawings, three dimensional work

09-05 through 20-06-2021

Karin van Dam (1959) and Robbie Cornelissen (1954) worked together on several occasions, in 2017 and 2019 they developed installations at the Cacaofabriek Helmond and the Biennale of Karachi, in which they questioned the boundaries between object and image by apposing three dimensional works, drawings and animations. Since then, both artists have explored new paths.

After embarking on a journey through Canada with Taiwanese/Canadian artist Ed Pien (1958), van Dam’s usual focus on urban structures shifted to organic forms and their underlying geometric patterns. Consequently she made the series The path of the Caterpillar using thick graphite pencils to draw composite circles referring to cellular structures, as well as landscapes from which columns of soil emerge. She also started experimenting with an advanced knitting machine in the Textile Lab of the Textile Museum Tilburg, producing spatial objects with a mix of wool and monofilament (nylon) that are reminiscent of insects, mosses and plant shapes. The structure of the knitted fabric has a mechanical, almost technological feel to it, creating a interesting friction between the organic shapes of the objects and the high-tech appearance of the material.

Robbie Cornelissen’s 2019 residency in Japan allowed him to test different realms. For his series The Space of Absence, he made abstract drawings rubbing A-4 and A-3 sheets with graphite powder in circular movements thus creating an abstract image. These graphite drawings lack a perspective depth but get a spatial structure by presenting then in a grid. In this series, the artist lets go of his guiding role as draftsman and gives a wider interpretive scope to the viewer, letting abstraction become part of his drawings. He also continues making his well known architectural drawings, recently he finished a new monumental version of Naked, showing the great chamber hall in Venice’s Doge’s Palace.

Karin van Dam and Robbie Cornelissen will show their new works in the gallery in an installation in which the flat and the three-dimensional, the architectural and the organic will merge but also the labyrinthic and the transparant will be present. In this sense, Places we have never been before refers not only to the artists’ literal exploration of space as a notion, but also to the latest shifts in their artistic practices: opening up new dimensions in which to create.

see the online catalogue for an overview of the exhibition and all the individual works