Hans van der Ham

Necassarily True

Andrew Gilbert (GB)

Marie Aly (D)

Ben Cottrell (GB)

Paula Mueller (D)

Robert Nicol (GB)

Derk Thijs (NL)


Curator: Hans van der Ham


The group exhibition Necessarily True is an ode to the power of the imagination. In the current digital age, in which a personal artistic signature is increasingly lacking, the six visual artists participating in this exhibition have once more explored the meaning of being in direct physical contact with their material. This is how they express their inner world of emotions without a predetermined goal or result. These artists intuitively create their work through the material with which they become one, as it were.
This method clears the way for the subconscious. The original, uncensored image ends up on canvas or paper straight from the artist’s mind like a visual primal scream without giving reason a chance to interfere. The works of art bypass reason and focus on expressing the emotion. The end product is less important than the artistic process. This leads to slightly absurd scenes and an extravagant use of colour. In other words: a high level of surrealism.

This is clearly reflected in the colourful paintings and drawings by Robert Nicol (Dundee, Scotland, 1980). Even though they create an innocent, almost childlike impression there is more to them than meets the eye. This double layer is also present in the work of Andrew Gilbert (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1980), which also looks like illustrations. His drawings, which seem humorous at a first glance, contain strikingly large numbers of soldiers, generals and warriors who seem to date back to colonial times.

The explosive paintings of Ben Cottrell (Cornwall, GB, 1972) strongly remind us of the work by abstract expressionists such as Willem de Kooning. His impressive, mask-like portraits evoke an association with primitive art. The same goes for the work by Derk Thijs (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1977), but he also adds a religious element. He combines small, primitively drawn human figures with abstract motifs and patterns.

Marie Aly (Berlin, Germany, 1980), too, plays with religious symbols such as crosses and halos in her very large paintings. And she looks for androgyny in her work: male becomes female and vice versa. The colours of her Rousseau-like landscapes are striking. Less colourful but just as powerful are the drawings of Paula Mueller (Trier, Germany, 1977). Seemingly nonchalant she creates peculiar scenes that are sometimes accompanied by a slogan-like phrase which either clarifies the work or causes confusion.

The six artists of Necessarily True take the spectator to unreal, subjective worlds in which nothing is as it seems. They invite the viewers to look beyond what is actually shown, in order to make visible the feelings and instincts that were at the root of these works of art.

Above Reality

21 Feb 2015 - 3 Mei 2015 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Order & Chaos

29 Nov 2014 - 8 Feb 2015 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Distance to Zero

6 Sep 2014 - 9 Nov 2014 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Beauty of Violence

26 Apr 2014 - 6 Jul 2014 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Perpetuum Mobile

31 Jan 2014 - 13 Apr 2014 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Behind Images

16 Nov 2013 - 12 Jan 2014 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Beyond Tradition

4 Mei 2013 - 14 Jul 2013 Garage Rotterdam Read on


26 Jan 2013 - 14 Apr 2013 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Into the Labyrinth

10 Nov 2012 - 23 Dec 2012 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Border Lines

1 Sep 2012 - 14 Okt 2012 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Necassarily True

18 Mei 2012 - 8 Jul 2012 Garage Rotterdam Read on

Hermetic City

3 Mrt 2012 - 29 Apr 2012 Garage Rotterdam Read on