“AFFECTION” Curated by Thomas Oosterhof

From 20-04-2024 Until 20-06-2024

“Affection” marks the first exciting collaboration between Marian Cramer and curator, Thom Oosterhof.

The group exhibition champions the work of 13 international artists, in Marian Cramer’s gallery located in a domestic setting in Amsterdam-Zuid.

The artists Gabe Cortese (US), Paola Angelini (IT), Chantal Khoury (CAN), Danilo Stojanović (HRV), Kathryn Kampovsky (US), Andrea Medjesi Jones (UK), Grace Bromley (US), David Weishaar (FRA), Benjamin Kress (US), Georgia-May Travers Cook (UK), Shoshana Walfish (CAN), Erickson Díaz-Cortés (PRI), and Billy Vanilli (AUS) form the ensemble behind the group exhibition. This exhibition delves into the tangible sensation of affection, manifesting through human form, the interplay of light and shadow, and the use of evocative color. Oosterhof weaves a narrative where artistic expression fosters a personal connection between the creator and the observer. Each artist reinterprets the theme of affection, infusing it with their unique artistic identity while harmonizing with the collective’s body of work. This fortuitous harmony emerges as a natural outcome of their joint creativity.

In solitude, equipped solely with the exhibition’s theme and a ‘mood board’, the artists embarked on a journey of personal interpretation and creation. It was only upon the convergence of their works in the exhibition space that the underlying unifying themes surfaced. In Gabe Cortese’s ‘Como una Perla’, a monochromatic figure is portrayed yearningly contemplating a colorful, reflective orb. This motif reemerges in Benjamin Kress’s ‘Salvator’, where the subject tenderly cradles the orb in their left hand. The same sphere, now held by a vaguely outlined figure immersed in hues, reappears in Grace Bromley’s ‘I’m Dancing Again’, completing the thematic triptych.

Within the domestic confines of the space, Oosterhof infused it with an array of intimate figurative and abstract paintings. This juxtaposition highlights that affection lies not only in recognizable forms but also in the interpretation of color and shape. As individuals, our lenses through which we perceive the world can either amplify or dampen these emotions. By presenting this diverse range of works, viewers are invited to engage in a multi-dimensional experience—both aesthetically and emotionally.

Chantal Khoury and Grace Bromley’s abstract paintings lean into subtlety and evoke feelings, while Kathryn Kampovsky, David Weishaar, and Georgia-May Travers Cook find refuge in recognition and vulnerability. The deliberate exposure of our shared humanity encourages viewers not to shy away from the intricate nature of affection. Erickson Díaz-Cortés portrays self and lover, capturing vibrant yet withdrawn moments in a delicate dance of colors. Meanwhile, artists like Shoshana Walfish, Billy Vanilli, Andrea Medjesi Jones, and Danilo Stojanović blend the abstract with the figurative, bridging spaces and emotions. Whether it’s a softly rested head, a grounded limb, or the meeting point of organs and organisms, each piece contributes to the overarching narrative.

The curator reflects, ‘This group of artists, presented in this manner, collectively conveys something essential. Acknowledging the care, love, and warmth that emerge from darkness is equally vital as recognizing the darkness, vulnerability, and sometimes sadness itself.’

He continues “Art for me, is that expression of what it means to be human. Building that and portraying that in a way that was accessible but challenging, was incredibly important in the formation of the show.”

 

Artists:
@gabecortese
@paola_angelini_
@chanti.kho
@danilo_stojanovic89
@kathryn.kampovsky
@andrea.medjesijones
@grace__bromley
@davidweishaar
@benjamin_kress
@georgiamaytc
@shoshanawalfish
@ericksondiazcortes
@billyvanilli_

 

 

Photography @gertjanvanrooij

 

Thomas Oosterhof

Introducing the artists:

Paola Angelini

Paola Angelini was born in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy (1983) graduates from the Fine Arts Academy of Florence in 2010. In 2011 she attended the workshop of Visual Arts at IUAV University in Venice with Bjarne Melgaard, and in the same year she exhibited in the Norwegian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, in the exhibition entitled Baton Sinister. In 2017 obtained a Master in Fine Arts at KASK Conservatorium in Gent (BE). In 2014 and 2016 she participated at the Artist in Residency program at Nordic Artists’Centre Dale (NKD), Norway, and in the same year she’s been at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa residency in Venice. She participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Italy and abroad, among others: Forme del tempo, Museo Palazzo Pretorio, Prato, 2017; La conquista dello spazio, Spazio K, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino, 2017; Iconoclash, Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona, 2017; Biography of a painted table, Brandstrup Galleri, Oslo, Norvegia, 2018; Splendor Solis, Museo Cà Pesaro, Venezia, 2021; Became a sun on the left side of the moon, BGE Gallery, Stavanger, Norvegia, 2023 ; Newborn from ashes and fire, Lyles&King gallery, New York, USA, 2022 ; Il tuffatore, Fondazione Coppola, Vicenza, 2022 ; Pittura Italiana Oggi, Triennale di Milano, 2023. She lives and works in San Benedetto del Tronto.

David Weishaar

The world of the night has this magical power to disrupt our bearings. David Weishaar leverages this sensory confusion to express his own perception through his recent series of paintings. Placed under the auspices of the Moon, he materializes the diversity of its luminous spectrum, and as the retina adjusts to the semi-darkness, the viewer gradually sees forms and details emerge. He takes his characters into nocturnal, referential worlds of fantastical, mainstream narratives such as vampire or witch stories, which have accompanied the artist since forever. Insisting on a form of narration, Weishaar wants the canvas to «speak» of real individuals carrying with them a singular and strong story.

His models are friends, people he admires, or those who have touched him through their commitments and activism: considering painting as a witness of an era, it is for him a matter of groups, circles, chosen family, and empowerment. In the vein of a certain Magical Realism, the characters are projected into environments tinted with dark dreaminess and symbolism, through which notions of body, intimacy, and desires are explored. Fluidity of genres, bodies, interpretations, and situations, the artist’s work attempts to deconstruct and make visible the relationship with margins and plural identities, through the genre of portraiture, which he considers his primary means of expression. Highlighting a pictorial family, David Weishaar attempts to create a connection with the viewer that speaks of shared sensations, of bodies that we inhabit.»

Chantal Khoury

Chantal Khoury was born to Lebanese settlers in Eastern Canada but now bases her practice in Montreal. In her paintings, she abstracts inherited forms to confront a profound cultural loss while also seeking to retrieve it. She was recently honoured with the prestigious 2023 Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting for her diverse research and use of rigorous techniques in Contemporary Abstraction. Khoury’s works are in the permanent collections of Global Affairs Canada, the RBC, The Art Gallery of Guelph, and The University of New Brunswick. She has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at Nicodim Gallery (Los Angeles & New York), The Beaverbrook Public Art Gallery (Canada), and the University of New Brunswick (Canada), among many others. Khoury holds an MFA from the University of Guelph (2021) and a BFA with Distinction from Concordia University (2012).

Benjamin Kress

Benjamin Kress (born in 1976, Bozeman, Montana) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  He received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union in 2000, studied at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, and was awarded an M.F.A. from Yale University in 2004.

Georgia-May Travers Cook 

A woman is caught surreptitiously hiding a letter in an ornate pot, a boiling kettle sings with abandoned triumph as a shattered teacup lays discarded on the surface and a pair of lovers are unearthed in a clandestine kiss or is it a battle? These are narratives or ‘happenings’ taken from snippets of Georgia-May Travers Cook’s  paintings, where no suggestive beginning or end to the story is offered, instead the viewer is slipping into a voyeuristic world of stolen glimpses, and they must make their own narrative conclusions.

Her paintings are a combination of realist figuration yet paired with a distinctive uncanny potentially surreal aesthetic. They regularly depict relatable scenes of the everyday, however the idea of ‘the normal’ is nuanced, aimed to disrupt overarching visual tropes and dominant storylines. Travers Cook’s paintings draw strongly from art history, literature and fiction, as well as her own writing. Characters, scenes, objects will appear, are repeated and are reworked, protagonists in an undulating world of images.

Georgia-May Travers Cook lives and works in London. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art & Art History from Goldsmiths in 2018.

 

Gabe Cortese

Gabe Cortese (b. 1994 in Key West, Florida) received his BFA in 2017 and his MFA in 2021 from the University of Central Florida. Recent solo exhibitions include Soft Spot, G/art/en Gallery, Como, Italy and Nothing Good Happens at Night, M+B, Los Angeles, CA. Recent group exhibitions include Friends and Lovers, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; The Cabin LA Presents, Green Family art Foundation, Dallas, TX; and Fluid Suns and Vitamin C, G/art/en Gallery, Italy. His work is also in the collection at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; the Orlando Museum of Art; X Museum; and the Tom of Finland Foundation. Gabe Cortese lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. Cortese is currently represented by M+B Los Angeles.

 

Shoshana Walfish

Shoshana Walfish is a painter based between Brussels and Montreal. Her practice is research driven, exploring how the body relates to feminism, existentialism, phenomenology and art history. This research provides the structural framework of her painting practice, which intuitively seeks to abstract and collapse the boundaries between the foreground, background, real and surreal, playing with the classical tenets of space and flesh, engaging corporeality and symbolism. Working in series, she uses colour, mark making and the materiality of the paint to manifest presence and delve into what it means to inhabit a body.

Walfish holds a Bfa from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She has upcoming shows at Galerie Nicolas Robert in Montreal (solo) and Kasteel D’Ursel, Antwerp. Her work was recently shown  at the Jewish Museum of Belgium (solo), Galerie Nicolas Robert (Toronto + Montreal), Beige Gallery in (Brussels), Brussels Art Nouveau and Design Festival (Brussels) and Birch Contemporary (Toronto).

 

Andrea Medjesi

London-based artist Andrea Medjesi brings a rich tapestry of influences to her mesmerizing paintings. With a PhD in painting practice from Cambridge School of Art, she delves deep into the realms of temporality, history, and image emergence in contemporary painting.Drawing inspiration from her Eastern European roots, Medjesi’s work intricately weaves together personal narratives and traditional still life motifs. Her canvases are vibrant explorations of painterly construction, inviting viewers into a dialogue that transcends time and space.

Billy Vanilli

Billy Vanilli (b. 1995) is a Melbourne-based artist with a distinctive flair for incandescent realism. His paintings focus on the layers within seemingly insignificant or mundane moments. Beginning with written prompts, Vanilli recalls everyday observations, memories and thoughts. Through painting, he explores how these moments transform, distort or become embellished with each revisit. The resulting imagery is luscious, complex and shimmers with sentimentality.

 

Danilo Stojanović

Danilo Stojanović (b. 1989, Pula, Croatia) lives and works in Milan, Italy. He graduated Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice (BFA 2013/MFA 2018). Recent exhibitions include: Night Cravings, Allen & Eldridge, NYC (2023);  Les Enchantées, Frontviews, DE (2023); Phantom Brush, A plus A Gallery, IT (2023); Midnight Blossom, CAR Gallery, IT (2022); Shoreline, James Fuentes Online, NYC (2022); Carnival Dream, G/ ART/EN Gallery, IT (2022); Mourning the Red Cactus, Andrea Festa Fine Art, IT (2021); 07, PM/AM, UK (2021); Les Danses Nocturnes, Eastcontemporary/Spread Museum, FR (2021); Sworm: Balla Balaclavas and the Shithead Baroque, Super Dutchess, NY (2020).

Kathryn Kampovsky

Kathryn Kampovsky (b. 1997) is an artist who currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Using vibrant and layered oils and acrylic paints, Kampovsky invites us to immerse ourselves in significant issues of the
contemporary world, through the distinct gaze of a young, modern woman. Are we safe? Are we unified? Are we a community of individuals, or individuals in
search of community? Whether through the loneliness of a single figure in a confined space, or the tension of a group of figures crowded amongst themselves, each
work demands we move closer at precisely the same time we should be fearful of coming too close. Her works are meant to give a peek into the complex, sometimes grotesque reality of womanhood, using pleasing colors, textures and motifs to draw the viewer in.

Grace Bromley

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Bromley earned a BFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be receiving an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in spring of 2024. She has shown at Spring/Break Art Show NYC, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New Collectors Gallery and D.D.D.D Pictures in New York City. She is the recipient of the New American Paintings Emerging Artist Grant in 2023.

Grace Bromley’s work addresses her interpersonal relationships through a mythic lens. Diffused within vibrant fields of color and ephemeral materials, Bromley’s sculptures and paintings function as encrypted self-portraits. She is inspired by her catholic upbringing, the way that biblical stories shaped her relationship to images and storytelling, as well as growing up in a household with three generations of women. Narrative story arcs and mythologies help her to discern her fraught relationship domesticity, mortality, strength, compassion and caretaking. She navigates these concepts through a physicality of material and density of layering, memories and dreams become indistinguishable, as the human is from animal, or the body from space. The process of morphing and mutating is essential to her practice, as it is important  to her that things are layered both conceptually as well as materially. Through this process, Bromley reflects upon what becomes embedded in us, and the ambiguous state of metamorphosis and becoming.

Erickson Díaz-Cortés

Erickson Díaz-Cortés (b. 1997 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) received his Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Central Florida in 2019 and his Master of Architecture from the University of South Florida in 2021. He has recently had his solo exhibition By Myself With You at Hexum Gallery in Montpelier, VT. Recent group exhibitions include The Story of You and Me, Union Hall, Denver, CO, Slow Songs, Quappi Projects, Louiseville, KY, and Tight as Leather,   Parallelogram Gallery, Tampa, FL. Erickson Díaz-Cortés currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

 

 

 

 

Artists: