herman de vries, from earth, rousillon, 1990, earth rubbing, Collection BFA/Photo: Peter Cox
Exhibition Zentrum | 4.05.2018 - 21.10.2018

herman de vries

Artists Books, Editions, and Works on Paper
Works from the Collection of the Brokken Zijp Foundation of Art. This exhibition is dedicated to the work of the Dutch artist herman de vries. It presents a retrospective of his vast body of edited works, situating them within the context of his fascinating artistic cosmos. Among the most characteristic and best-known editions of herman de vries are his “earth rubbings“, such as the "library of earth colours 1993-2005" (2005) – rubbing earth onto paper with his fingers, he has now assembled more than 8,000 different soils from all over the world – or his dried and pressed plants on white cardboard in boxes.
herman de vries, from: library of earth colours, 1993-2005, earth rubbing on paper, Collection BFA/Photo: Peter Cox

In 1970 the artist, well known in the 1960s as representative of the Informel tendency, moved to Eschenau in the Steigerwald and ever since has turned his attentions primarily to nature. In 1956 he made his first white collages, the first white painting appeared in 1959 and his first aleatory works in 1962. In 1961 herman de vries, along with Armando and Henk Peeters, published the first issue of "nul = 0". From 1965 to 1972 he edited the "revue intégration". From 1991 six issues of the new "integration – newspaper for mind-moving plants and culture", were published in collaboration with Wolfgang Bauer. herman de vries’ two manifestoes, "manifest van de gecastreerde werkelijheid" and "wit is overdaad" (white is omnipotent) appeared in 1960 and his first artist’s book, “wit“, in 1962. Between 1974 and 2015 he issued 72 small publications such as artist’s books with his own publishing house, "Eschenauer Summer Press". He has written several books about his aleatory art as well as essays about languages, Ludwig Wittgenstein, ancient plant names and ecology.

His portfolio of individual works ranges from his early text works to a large-format collage composed of 2109 blueberry leaves on white card from 1986. In this category of early works we can situate the concrete poetry of herman de vries, which he later developed in the direction of visual poetry. His later assembling of ancient plant names and place names in his textual works can be considered a continuation of this approach. Over the years, herman de vries’ concrete poetry has evolved into a poetry of nature.

 


herman de vries, not titled, 1972, collage/grass , Collection BFA/Photo: Peter Cox

"since 1970 I have been collaborating with nature" says herman de vries. The interrelationship between art and nature has become his artistic trademark. For many decades he has worked exclusively with objects found in nature, which he then classifies like a scientist and organises aesthetically. His work is grounded in both the micro- and the macrocosm of nature. He employs simple artistic and scientific techniques and procedures such as collecting, drying, pressing, rubbing, or isolating or assembling natural materials. He arranges plants, leaves, branches, earth and natural relics into pictorial structures that illustrate the variety and diversity emanating from nature.

 

The works of herman de vries shown in this exhibition come from the Brokken Zijp Foundation of modern and contemporary Art (BFA) in Liempde, the Netherlands, supplemented with works from the various archives and collections of the Centre for Artists’ Publications.

 

An exhibition of the Centre for Artists' Publications,
kindly supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands





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Die Ausstellungen des Zentrums für Künstlerpublikationen sind zu den Öffnungszeiten der Weserburg zu sehen:

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E-Mail: studienzentrum@weserburg.de

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