Kopie, February – May 2016
The art project Kopie – a three-part art project about the artist, copyist, restorator and photographer Arnold van de Laar.
The Painter Arnold van de Laar (Den Bosch 1886 – Vught 1974) was known throughout his life for his copies of old masters and as a restorer of paintings. His house with studio is still completely intact and constitutes a veritable time capsule. An exhibition about his own artworks has never been held.
His grandson Michel van de Laar is also a restorer of paintings. He worked 25 years in the Rijksmuseum where his grandfather was working from 1913 to 1939 with great regularity to copy paintings. From the mid -90s Michel began arranging the material located in the studio of his grandfather. Cupboards full of painting materials and drawers stuffed with mysterious letters and photos were investigated with cultural historian Dr. Marga Altena. Some scientific articles were published.
Recently a book has been published about the complete works of Arnold van de Laar which accompanies the exhibition titled Kopie versus Autonomie which is held in the Museum Slager in Den Bosch and is curated by Michel van de Laar and Caroline O’Breen. This exhibition provides an overview of his fine art work. These artworks make an interesting confrontation with copies of masterpieces Van de Laar made of painters including Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt and Jan Steen.
Artist Marijn Bax (1981) was inspired by the studio and home of Arnold van de Laar and contributed with a photo series Licht Reflecties to this exhibition. The old studio is the starting point of this series.
On the occasion of this project Kopie Marijn Bax made an in situ art installation – entitled Reflections in the old studio and house on the Sint Jorisstraat. This installation offers visitors an intense experience. With an intimate ‘audio walk’ Bax wants to question the purview of the visitor, about the theme copying. The visitor imagines himself in the artist’s life who lived and worked there long ago.