Steven Aalders, Mirror: 30 May – 29 June 2024

Slewe Gallery is pleased to announce Steven Aalders' new solo exhibition Mirror, which will open on Thursday, May 30 during Amsterdam Art Week (May 29 to June 2, 2024). The exhibition shows new paintings that were created last year during his stay in the countriside, a nature reserve with forests and lakes, where wealthy Amsterdammers built idyllic country estates in the past. After forty years, Aalders returned to his parental home, an eighteenth-century rectory, where he started painting at the age of sixteen. In the series of paintings, he made there, the colours and light return from the surrounding romantic landscape, which he knew from his memory and now saw again. The harmonious proportions of the house and the classicism of the adjacent seventeenth-century church responded to his minimalistic vocabulary, which he has mastered over the years. In addition, he will show a series of paintings inspired by the palette of the French classicist painter Nicolas Poussin. A brochure, designed by Irma Boom, accompanies the exhibition with images and text by the artist and photographs by Kim Zwarts.

Steven Aalders is known for his carefully crafted, minimal geometric oil paintings. His work is about proportion and colour. Modernist serial principles, such as repetition and uniformity, are linked to age-old concepts of imagining time and place. It is an attempt to create light and space through paint. In his paintings he expresses the rhythm of life. The multi-layered oil paintings demand a concentrated eye from the beholder. Aalders' color palette has become more saturated in recent years and generally shows more dark tones. The choice of colour arises from impressions gained from nature or from studying colour theories, such as that of Goethe, who saw colour as shadow, which arises from a mixture of light and darkness. In addition, some series are inspired by the palette of old masters, such as that of the Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Matthias Grünewald and recently Nicolas Poussin.

Steven Aalders, born in 1959 in Middelburg (NL), lives and works in Amsterdam. He studied in London at Croydon College of Art and at Ateliers 63 in Haarlem. In 2002 he had his first museum solo exhibition, entitled Vertical Thoughts at the S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium and in 2010 followed by Cardinal Points at the Kunstmuseum in The Hague, on which occasion a catalogue was published with an overview of fifteen years work. In 2017 the book The Fifth Line. Thoughts of a Painter was published by Koenig Books, in which Aalders’ thoughts on art and particularly abstract art and its relation to the world are discussed in a series of interviews conducted by Robert van Altena.In 2020 he made an installation at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In 2022 his exhibition Seasons in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo was on view, on which occasion an extensive catalogue was published by the museum in collaboration with Hatje Cantz, Berlin. Aalders’ work is internationally collected by both private and public collections, such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Kröller-Müller Museum, Museum Voorlinden, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, ABNAMRO Art Collection, BPD Art Collection, Thoma Art Collection, Museum Over Holland and Museum Kurhaus Kleve.

Winston Roeth, Colored Grids: 6 April – 18 May 2024

Slewe Gallery is pleased to host the solo exhibition Colored Grids by American artist Winston Roeth (b. 1945, Chicago), which opened Saturday April 6. Roeth is known for his luminous paintings and the pictorial form of the grid. In 2020-2021 he had an overview exhibition, entitled Speed of Light, in Museum Wiesbaden. The exhibition at Slewe Gallery will contain some grid-based paintings and works on paper. It will be his first exhibition in the gallery and indeed in the Netherlands. You can listen to a conversation between Winston Roeth and Robert van Altena on the exhibition here.

In addition, a special event has been organized on Sunday April 7 at 3 pm. John Snijders performs Morton Feldman’s 75-minute piano piece For Bunita Marcus (1985).

Winston Roeth’s entire body of work is characterized by his exploration of color. His work is embedded in the abstract geometric tradition. It is related to Agnes Martin’s clear Grid Paintings, Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square series and Donald Judd’s research in color. Roeth's compositions are simple. Often a picture is divided into a geometric harmony of colored lines and planes on either aluminium or wooden panels or paper. In the case of works on paper for example, the white ground of the paper is broken up by shimmeringly luminous lines in a perfect balance of light, depth, and color. Subtle color effects occur on the crossings of the lines, which gives a strong expression. The works have overall compositions. There is no hierarchy. Most of the time they look like parts of the whole. It helps us to focus only on the luminosity of the colors. The works are exquisitely painted in several layers of velvety, pure pigment and polyurethane dispersion and reveal their secrets slowly: quiet combinations that play gentle tricks on the eye. In a world so accustomed to instant gratification Winston Roeth's works more than reward the unusual level of contemplation required.

Roeth, who is based in Beacon, New York State, has exhibited extensively. His work is in many important collections, including Museum of Modern Art, New York; Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Kunstmuseum Basel; Museum Wiesbaden; Benesse House, Naoshima, Japan; the Fogg Art Museum (Harvard); the San Jose Museum of Contemporary Art, California and the celebrated Panza Collection where his paintings form a site-specific installation in one of the gilded and panelled rooms of the seventeenth century Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo in Varese, Italy.

Ryan Christopher: 17 February – 23 March 2024

Slewe Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition Eclogue, St. Perpetua by British artist Ryan Christopher (b. 1998), which opens on Saturday February 17 and will run through March 23. It will be his debut show at the gallery.

Christopher, who has just finished his two years stay at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, will show new works of which some were created during his study there. His austere presentation at De Ateliers Offspring exhibition in Autumn 2023 made a big impression on the visitor. With extreme economy of means complex thought was suggested. The works are made with found and poor material, like cloth, blinds and tape. Also sound and references to cultural history are used. As a starting artist he already takes a bold and original position. He refers to old and modern ‘saints’ like St. Perpetua and Simone Weil. His interest in philosophy and religion is a guidance towards new perspectives in these times.

In this exhibition Christopher is taking the pastoral poetic form of the Eclogue as a starting point. In Eclogue, St. Perpetua, he draws on the referential properties of found materials to inquire into the spatial nature of providence and necessity in relation to the psyche. Bucolic dialogues play out through material intermediaries and the celestial visions of St. Perpetua and Saturus, martyred in Carthage in 203 ce. These dialogues are continued through sheep bells and wind through tall trees. The materials used in the works include plasterboard, a greenhouse cover, plant protection fleece, and blinds. All of which suggest something of a membrane; a mediator both separating and connecting. A composition of printed text and recorded sound also form a material presence in the gallery, situatingthe viewer in a liminal context of narrative uncertainty and conceptualized silence.

Ryan Christopher lives and works in Coventry (UK). He studied Fine Art at Coventry University (2018-2021), followed by De Ateliers in Amsterdam (2022-2023).

He writes about his practice: ‘I’m working through sculpture, sound and video to consider material relations within elliptical narratives. I approach my practice as a process of amalgamation in which the formal and indexical properties of found materials—objects, images, text and sound—are brought into antinomic relations. Strands of religious thought, philosophy and early Christian history are configured into sculptural narratives that often think through paradoxes whilst addressing human relations to necessity and the natural world.
Material juxtapositions appear compressed, succinct and as imperceptible as movements can be. An internal movement of faith, as a qualitative leap, can be succeeded by the turn of a head. Fluctuations can be subject to air pressure, or the changing distribution of light, and intermediaries can hold traces of silent discourse.’

Rapports: 13 January – 10 February 2024

Slewe Gallery will start the new year with a group show, entitled Rapports, with selected works by Alan Charlton, Alice Schorbach, Jan van Munster, Kees Smits, Lesley Foxcroft, Lon Pennock and Paul Wallach.

The exhibition will be on view from January 13 to February 10. The festive opening will take place during Amsterdam Gallery Weekend on Friday January 19 and Saturday January 20.