Koen Kloosterhuis presents: Universe XYZ

Since 2014, the Centraal Museum director Edwin Jacobs offers a promising student of Utrecht’s HKU University of the Arts the opportunity to exhibit in the museum. In 2014 it was the fashion designer Saba Tark who caught his eye; this year his choice fell on the installation that Koen Kloosterhuis created as his Fine Art graduation project. 

About the exhibition

Entitled Universe XYZ, the installation consists of a semi-round black painted wall, a man-high disc, and various shapes and objects strewn across the floor, ranging from geometric shapes, a divining rod (or something like it), non-descriptive items as well as a comb, soap, a toothbrush and a fork. However you look at it, the totality forms a clear composition; but what the composition signifies is hard to say. Perhaps there’s some connection to the world of mathematical and abstract shapes, derived from nature? Whatever the case may be, the composition is replete with riddles, making it a very mysterious work.

Affectively, Kloosterhuis’s work is reminiscent of Constant’s 1972 painting, Espace and destruction, or Armando’s Black bolts on white from 1970. These works were created during a time of artistic innovation, giving birth to radically open and associative imagery. Art embraced the boundless wealth of abstraction as a driver of the imagination and source of new and inspiring panoramas. It may be too early yet to expect something similar from Koen Kloosterhuis, but his work undeniably has exciting potential. This is an ambitious artist who, his young age notwithstanding, is unafraid to redefine the dimension of the abstract.

When two characters meet on planet X, a third might notice that this is actually not the case. It’s invisible but true: each walks on a different planet, one on X and the other on Y. A fourth character may say that one, two and three all live on planet XY, but then where does he live? Planet Z is home to number five, but he doesn’t really bother with the rest.


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