Kunſtgalerie van Hoorn.

Exit the page

This painting has often been taken as an allegory of Dutch statesman Johan de Witt protecting the country from its enemies based on the inscriptions seen on the painting, but evidence shows that these were added after the fact. It might just be a nice picture of a swan after all!

(Also, welcome to the gallery. If you notice the descriptions getting more flowery and pretentious as we move forward through time, that’s because i have to waffle on and provide critique or interpretation to meet fair dealing requirements!)

I don't actually have much to say on the painting itself, but i think it's very funny how consistently sources will conspicuously go out of their way to refer to Hyacinthos as Apollon's "favourite" or "friend" instead of implying absolutely any homosexual implications whatsoëver. Think of the children!!!

Someone was, apparently, afraid of red, yellow, and blue: in 1986, a man approached the painting and disfigured it with a knife. It underwent a restoration in 1991, but the contracted restorers coarsely applied xyelene to Newman's original red pigments, rendering it, in the words of Stedelijk museum restorer Elisabeth Bracht, an artwork "lifeless" and "forever destroyed".

Read more about Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue III at de Volkskrant (nl)

The real painting has a wonderful distinct texture in the strokes that just doesn't translate to a flat 2D picture, but i'll do my best to ramble about it nonetheless.

The artist portrays herself surrounded by traditionally feminine objects, trying to piece together a broken pearl necklace— literally, struggling with trying to acquire femininity. It's a powerful metaphor; when i saw it, it gave me pause to think about how i wanted to approach my transition to... whatever the hell non-binary euphoria implies.

Wolfgang Staehle had intended Untitled to be a quiet work about place and the everyday lives that happen around it— three video projections, each with a live feed of three places around the world.5.1

But the interpretation of his work was forever changed just five days into the exhibition: on September the 11th, 2001, two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre. A study of nothing much happening was immediately transformed into a live documentation of what happens when a place is forever changed; the live feed was one of just three videos showing the plane crash as it happened.

It stands in contrast to more recent times, where advances in technology have let the Staehlean mentality of documenting the minutiæ of life take hold along the wider populace, but even still, parallels form— i am reminded of the transformation of many microblogs which once documented the inane daily motions of many into diaries of struggle in the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic.5.2

Read more about Untitled at Rhizome

It's a deceptively simple performance. The artist lays a circle of salt around an autonomous car6.1 in the form of road markings, causing it to become entrapped in an ironic prison of its own algorithm.

Bridle is no stranger to acts like this. He's doused government documents in water to protest redaction, and created CGI representations of the places where immigrating people are processed and detained, where photography is not allowed. Autonomous Trap 001 displays a wry playfulness not seen in these older works, melding old rituals with new technology.

Read more about Autonomous Trap 001 at Vice
Buy the artist's book


Jan Asselijn (c. 1610–52)

The Threatened Swan (c. 1650)

Oil on canvas

On display at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

acquired MMXX.IV.XXI

Jean Broc (1771–850)

The Death of Hyacinthos (1801)

Oil on canvas

On display at the Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers

acquired MMXX.IV.XXI

Barnett Newman (1905–70)

Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue III (1967)

Oil on canvas

In the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

acquired MMXX.IV.XXI

Lizzie Rowe (b. 1955)

Dysphoria (1990)

Oil on canvas

On display at the Laing Gallery, Newcastle

acquired MMXX.IV.XXI

Wolfgang Staehle (b. 1950)

Untitled (2001)

Live video projection

Exhibited at the Postmasters Gallery, New York

acquired MMXX.IV.XXI

James Bridle (b. 1980)

Autonomous Trap 001 (2017)

Performance art

Performed at Mount Parnassus, Greece

Most recently exhibited at ZKM, Karlsruhe

acquired MMXX.IV.XXI

Yiannis Moralis (1916–2009)

Erotic (1988)

Acrylic on canvas

Private collection

acquired MMXII.I.XII

Beneš Knüpfer (1848–1910)

Fauns Fleeing Before an Automobile (1905)

Oil on canvas

In the collection of the National Gallery of Prague

acquired MMXII.I.XII