TEFAF and the City (blog 1 - David Lynch expo)

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During the ten days of one of the world’s most famous art fair, TEFAF, the city of Maastricht is also extra hip and happening. From 14 to 24 March The city center seems to get the elegance artistic spirit and host special party’s, dinners, music, film and theatre shows, and of course several contemporary exhibitions. Journalist Angelique van Os had a glimpse of the extensive program of this TEFAF and the City and visited three museums in one day.

 

Text & photo’s: Angelique van Os | Portrait by Josh Tellers & archive of the artist 

After one or two days roam at TEFAF, there is much more to explore in Maastricht. It is the first time that the city presents an extensive international program that is inspired by the fair. It is a collaboration of several forces, like the township of Maastricht, the Provence of Limburg to Maastricht Marketing and Chapeau Magazine.

In addition to the MECC Congres which host big events like TEFAF, the city has many other interesting museums with permanent collections and contemporary exhibitions. I started my day with a visit to Some one is in my House (till 28/04) at the Bonnefantenmuseum. This exhibition shows the fascinated, bizarre dark world of cult director David Lynch (1946, Montana). The mysterious filmmaker of surrealist and disturbing movies like Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the famous Twin Peak series, actually started his career as an artist. This exhibition is therefore focusing on his art. Over the past four decades he has created a rich oeuvre of paintings, drawings, photography, multi-media collages and installations. Hereby he is always trying to capture, process and translate the images inside his head. This exhibition shows his complete works for the first time outside the USA.

Already in the first two rooms, the well-known underbelly, gut feeling comes alive looking at Lynch’s first important academic work, Six Men Getting Sick (1967). Lynch was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and had a revelation in 1966. During this time he found out he wanted to create moving paintings. Six Men… is his first art-combined work of sculpture, installation and audio.

 

Safe place

A red line within the exhibition seems to be the lack of a safe environment, a careful home. In his work, houses have formed a leitmotif for Lynch. Although the filmmaker and artist had a happy childhood and warm memories of it, he experienced several aggressive and violent experiences during his studies in Philadelphia. This is where his work got his dark character. His house in Philly was everything but a safe place; children were shot outside his front door, stones were throne through his windows and burglars were sneaking around. Still, Lynch calls the city his greatest inspiration: “This place had a great mood – factories, smoke, railroads, diners, the strangest characters and the darkest nights (….)”, Lynch explains in the liner notes of the exhibition.

 

Dark

The works of Lynch are everything but beautiful. They are not intent to be. Like his films, the paintings are ominous and dark, full of cryptically notes, using strange materials. Lynch says: “I like to be able to get dirty. I would like to roll in the mud. I like flesh, earth, fire, and smoke. I like organic phenomenon. I would like to bite my paintings. I like meat. I like ointment. I like grease. I like childlike things. I like crude, bad painting in a sophisticated way.” This is exactly how his art looks like. Sometimes even hard aggressive in your face, like the works in room 8, where the atmosphere of violent is dominated in grotesque works like Change the Fucking Channel Fuckface and the man who was shot 0.9502.

 

Violent comedy

And sometimes one can also find violent comedy in the work; like his latest works from 2009-2010 (room 13) which consist aggressive doll-like figures on large sheets of brown cardboard, mixed with bright lights, real clothing (underpants) in three dimensional elements. Absurdism of David Lync’s view of the world takes over, and it is clear that his movies are not separate from his work. Finally, I walk into the famous setting of the Twin Peaks curtain room. Where everything starts, ends and vanishes. Hearing the famous music score, I can almost see ‘bad evil’ Bob, and feel the spirit of Laura Palmer. I am fully awake after this intense exhibition, ready to explore the world of big and colorful insects of photographer Levon Biss.

 

Read more about the other exhibitions in Blog 2

TIP: Lumière Cinema has special film screenings of the films of David Lynch, titled A Retrospective. This include all his classics, and the fascinating documentary David Lynch: The Art Life, about his intimate journey through the formative years of his life. Check the webiste for the dates and time schedules.  

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