Art Piece From Around Town: Simon Lee Gallery



Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader (1942-75) produced/performed a slender volume of works before his tragic, inexplicable disappearance at sea. The action documented above is titled ‘On the way to a new neoplasticism, Westkapelle, Holland’ (1971) and shows the artist building an abstract composition in Mondrian-esque colour palette and hard-lined shape with his own body. Jan Ader appears in the prostrated position a lot in his works, not to mention his ‘Falling’ films which are, exactly (but not purely) about falling.

Here, I *fell* in love with the notion of the artist’s body operating as a brush that paints (and sculpts) a three-dimensional, live artwork out of flat geometric abstraction. It re-energizes the early 20th century aesthetic tradition and updates it into the 70s context while proposes a concrete discursive ground for a meaningful sisterhood of art and nature. But I can’t suppress a smile when gazing at these images- there’s an element of irony and cheek in them, too!


Piet Mondrian: Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow (1930)

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