MUSAC – herman de vries: chance & change

The MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León) received a Grant International Presentations for the  first individual exhibition in Spain of the Dutch artist herman de vries. This retrospective show spans an extensive period of more than fifty years, and includes early “informal” works as well as site-specific productions where nature is presented as the work of art itself. The exhibition can be visited until 4 February 2018. The curator is Kristine Guzmán.

de vries has been working for more than sixty years on an uncommonly versatile oeuvre in which art, science and philosophy are juxtaposed with the reality of the world. Initially involved in the international ZERO movement, he has since then focused on natural processes and phenomena and presents these as the primary, physical reality of human existence. The strength and richness of de vries’ oeuvre stems from the biotope developed in his hometown of Eschenau (Germany) and during his travels, including Venice.

de vries works on the idea of chance & change as an artist, scientist, philosopher and poet, and believes that existence depends on “chance fields.” This chance field may be a tiny parcel of 16dm2 earth where 472 different types of plants can be found. Change creates possibilities of chance; chance creates possibilities of change. Nothing is permanent, everything evolves. Like the huge trunks of a burned tree in burned III (2014-2015), transformed and metamorphosed by fire to become shiny, black sculptures.

In 2015, de vries represented The Netherlands at the 56th Venice Biennale. Under the title to be all ways to be the Dutch pavilion exhibited new sculptures, objects, works on paper and photography by de vries. Curators of the presentation were Colin Huizing and Cees de Boer.