AroundSpace Gallery presents the second solo exhibition of Dutch artist Klaas Gubbels with the gallery in Shanghai, The Ninetieth, showcasing more than 20 works made between the artist’s early years and today. It does not include Gubbels’ iconic pieces, but also his most recent series with bright yellow and gray tones that are distinguished from his previous style, representing the artist’s six-decade long professional career and artistic achievements.
Tafel en stoelen in houtskool, 76.5cm × 53.5cm, Acrylic on paper, 2001
Still Ja, 55cm × 50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2010
Born in Rotterdam in 1934, Gubbels currently resides in Arnhem, a city located in the east of the Netherlands. He was exposed to a prestigious art environment at an early age. He worked as an assistant for renowned Dutch artists Wally Elenbaas (1912 – 2008) and Louis van Roode (1914 – 1964) in his twenties and later in the studios of Mauris van Beek (1921 – 2003), Fred Sieger (1902 – 1999), and Dick Grossman. In the 1980s, Gubbels was active in the New York art scene, together with his mentor and friend, also Rotterdam-born abstract artist Willem De Kooning (1904 - 1997). Later he was invited to teach at the WdKA: Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Gubbels became a member of Gemeenschap Beeldende Kunstenaars (GBK) in 1963 and received high recognition in Europe and North America. His painting and sculpture works are collected by institutions such as the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and are also appreciated by several generations of Dutch royal family members. There are multiple museums and art institutions in the Netherlands organizing retrospective exhibitions for him in celebration of his 90th birthday, on January 19, 2024.
Aan Morand, 50cm × 55cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2019Simeon doormekaar, 35cm × 40cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2021
Despite such a long and successful artist career, Gubbels is loyal to one simple motif, the coffee/tea pot. With changing shapes and colors and various styles and media, he created a household image of coffee/tea pot in the Netherlands. Just like Baruch Spinoza, a Dutch Enlightenment philosopher who spent his whole life grinding lenses in a small town but influenced modern European philosophy, Gubbels’ modest artistic style is low key but lasting. He is passionate about the tradition of Dutch art, which pays great attention to still life themes as well as valuing ordinary daily life.
Gubbels’ new work Geel!!! was inspired by the Color (s) of the Year during COVID - Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. It depicted bright yellow abstract coffee pots on a gray background, as if offering hope and warmth to lonely souls. In another piece titled Simeon Dookaar he rendered nearly 10 blue pots with different sizes, like a relaxed party, representing the desire for normal social gatherings.
Ja, 30cm × 35cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2022-2023Geel!!!!, 24cm × 30cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2023
A noble-hearted man retains his high aspirations even in old age (quote from a third century Chinese poetry). Ninety is an old age, a number that is close to a hundred. It also represents an achievement, a rare pinnacle. Great art is simple. Gubbels’ artistic practice embraced the glory and legacy of Dutch Golden Age. With endless love and warmth, his art moves audiences beyond borders and languages.
About the Artist
Klaas Gubbels, Photo by Mingming
Born in Rotterdam in 1934 and now residing in Arnhem, Klaas Gubbels is one of the most important artists in the Netherlands. His works have been permanently collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Gubbels became a member of Gemeenschap Beeldende Kunstenaars (dissolved in 2017)in 1963. He often uses still life and daily objects as subject matters, especially his favorite subject matter-coffee pots, which are well known in the Netherlands. Inspired by Duchamp, Man Ray and George Segal's ideas about art, Gubbels also adopted Italian painters Morandi and Modigliani's subtlety and delicacy in his paintings.
The Museum of Modern Art
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museum het Valkhof Nijmegen
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam
Collectie Wunderkammer Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
About the Exhibition
Klaas Gubbels Solo Exhibition｜The 90th
Opening Reception: 2024.1.6（Sat）,15:00-18:00
Exhibition Duration: 2024.1.7 - 2024.2.29
Venue: AroundSpace Gallery
Address: Suite 703, No. 33, Sichuan Middle Road, Shanghai
Courtesy of AroundSpace Gallery.