GalerieArtistsArie van Selm

Arie van Selm


Exhibition from 20 February till 21 April 2023

Arie van Selm's iconic crow returns to the rooms of the Noack Gallery: but not only the familiar crows 1 to 3 will take their place in various sizes, in black and red patinated bronze or reflective nickel silver - the centerpiece of the exhibition is the world's first unveiling of crow 4, a plaster model that provides an insight into van Selm's continued preoccupation with his most popular and influential motif.

While the dynamism of the reduced form and the vital tension of the body have been preserved in this new aesthetic evolutionary stage, even reinforced by the crouched posture and drop-like basic shape, it also appears in a new form through a more naturalistic design of the head and tail feathers. This suggestion of the feather structure creates a startling and attractive contrast to the smoothness of the body and wings. The structure is both echoed and mirrored by the high base, which is reminiscent of a piece of an old stone wall or rough plaster. The proportion of the plinth to the bird also creates the association that the crow is standing on a high wall or the projection of an old house. Combined with the now less abstract, slightly open beak, we seem to hear the characteristic rough call of the crow, which seems to be taking possession of its place high up with its protruding feet. Or is it rather ready to leap and take off? The plaster model arouses anticipation for the cast bronze work, for its colorfulness and luminous form and the question of how it will bring Van Selm's vision of this mysterious and intelligent bird to life in space.

The crows are complemented and expanded by a selection of paintings and drawings. They deepen our view of Van Selm's aesthetic approach to nature and his expressive and empathetic language of color and form. In "Blue Lucidity" (2022), we encounter the familiar silhouette of the crow in an intensely bright blue on a black background. And in "Chasing the Night" (2020), it stands out only slightly in a soft grey, as if it wanted to hide from the strong yellow and green color surface in the lower half of the picture. In "Flotilla" (2021), Van Selm turns to floral forms and, with his newly seen, strange-looking flowers and color contrasts, once again opens his eyes to the depth of natural forms.

From February 20 to April 21, the high and bright rooms of the Noack Gallery provide the ideal setting to familiarize yourself with the current work of one of the most important Dutch artists of the present day - in the very place where his globally acclaimed sculptures have seen the light of day for many years.

03 February 2023 Victor Gallandi

The Crows (2009 -2023)