LUXE BENEN – Featuring Painters working and living in the Benelux, Curated by Ralf Kokke
OPENING: SATURDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2024
Dear Friends and Art Enthusiasts,
I am very happy to invite you to an evening of art and connection on February 10th, 2024, from 5-7 pm at Marian Cramer Projects. We’re celebrating the opening of ‘Luxe Benen’, a group show that holds a special place in my heart. It features a group of painters who are working and living in the Benelux, where I too have rooted my artistic journey.
The inspiration behind ‘Luxe Benen’ stems from a song by Le Le, a Dutch rap group. As a painter, my philosophy has always been centered around collaboration and community. It’s an honor to have worked with many artists and institutions over the years, curating and organizing shows that go beyond mere exhibitions. This particular show at Marian Cramer is a culmination of these shared passions of art and contemporary painting.
My artistic journey began at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where I, a Dutch man born in Rotterdam, embraced the classical and historical approach of the Belgian painting tradition. It taught me the beauty of painting still lifes, understanding the human body, and capturing their movement and expression. I’ve always dreamt of organizing a show that highlights the shared tradition of painters from The Netherlands and Belgium. This artistic region, marked by legendary groups and art movements such as the Flemish Primitives, Utrecht Caravaggists, De Stijl, Flemish Expressionists, and, of course, the CoBrA movement, has been a constant source of inspiration for us painters and demonstrates collaboration between the painters in these movements.
The rapid organization of ‘Luxe Benen’ is a tribute to the dedication and flexibility of everyone involved, from Marian to all the participating artists. This haste only amplified the excitement, turning a long-held dream into reality.
Now, let’s turn our attention to these amazing artists of ‘Luxe Benen’. Soetkin Verslype, Arthur Devisscher, Jamel Armand, and Geran Knol’s works are united in their unique patterns and forms, subtly suggesting figures hidden in abstractions. Some of them have captivated me since my academy days, making it an honor to showcase their work here.
Imge Ozbilge, Mariami Tsotadze, Rik Meijers, Florens Kool, and Doris Kolpa create captivating pieces where the lines between dreams and reality beautifully blur. Their works resonate on both a personal and universal level.
Karel Dicker, Daan Koens, Denie Put, B.D. Graft, Maeve Van Klaveren, and Keetje Mans masterfully explore expressions through their brushstrokes, structures, and textures, transforming the theme of painting into a mirror reflecting upon itself.
I know some professional writers and critics, and I am not one of them, they would do a way better job at describing these artists, but I strive in my way to honor the admiration and respect I hold for these artists. Their talents deserve recognition and praise, but to do their work even more justice, you must visit this show, or perhaps their studios, or see their solo exhibitions.
Looking ahead and to spark excitement about my upcoming endeavors, I’ve opened my own gallery in my hometown of Dordrecht called Tinimini Room. We collaborate with numerous esteemed galleries to showcase painters from the Netherlands and beyond. Our grand opening features Keetje Mans on March 16th 2024 5-7pm, and we’re partnering with Marian Cramer for a solo exhibition in September 2024 with my dear friend Bijijoo. However, there are many more artists to discover, so please contact me for more information or follow our Instagram page at instagram.com/tinimini__room. Beyond my beloved project in Dordrecht, I’m organizing a different venture: a communal landscape painting retreat. I plan to rent a house somewhere in Europe to invite a group of painters to paint landscapes and organizing a show around this theme. This retreat is just one of the many steps on a journey that is far from over.
I warmly invite you to join us at Marian Cramer Projects on February 10th between 5-7 PM to experience
the magic of ‘Luxe Benen’ and the community it represents.
– Ralf Kokke
Arthur Devischer https://www.instagram.com/arthurr.devisscher/
Karel Dicker https://www.instagram.com/karel.dicker/
B.D. Graft https://www.instagram.com/b.d.graft/
Jamel Armand https://www.instagram.com/jamelarmand/
Maeve Van Klaveren https://www.instagram.com/maevevklaveren/
Geran Knol https://www.instagram.com/geranknol/
Daan Koens https://www.instagram.com/daanjkoens/
Doris Kolpa https://www.instagram.com/doriskolpa/
Florens Kool https://www.instagram.com/florenskool/
Imge Ozbilge https://www.instagram.com/imge_ozbilge/
Keetje Mans https://www.instagram.com/keetje_mans/
Rik Meijers https://www.instagram.com/meijersrik/
Mariami Tsotadze https://www.instagram.com/mariami.tsotadze/
Soetkin Verslype https://www.instagram.com/soetkinverslype/