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  • From: 28 january 2023
  • Through: 11 june 2023
  • Location: Museum de Fundatie

Brave New World - 17 Painters for the 21st century

‘How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in ’t!’
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1610-1611

Painting is more vibrant and robust now than ever. Today’s painters combine traditional techniques with contemporary themes, narratives and motifs, demonstrating that in this day and age, painting can be the perfect Trojan horse: appealing and seductive, but often conveying a razor-sharp message. Brave New World will showcase the work of 17 painters under the age of 40 who are among the best in the world today. A show full of multiple perspectives, varied histories and new aesthetic frameworks, curated by author and art historian Hans den Hartog Jager.

NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY (b. 1983, Nigeria) | LOUIS FRATINO (b. 1993, US) | RAQUEL VAN HAVER (b. 1989, Netherlands) | LOIE HOLLOWELL (b. 1983, US) | CUI JIE (b. 1983, China) | SANYA KANTAROVSKY (b. 1982, Russia) | MELIKE KARA (b. 1985, Germany) | NEO MATLOGA (b. 1993, South Africa) | OSCAR MURILLO (b. 1986, Colombia) | ANTONIO OBÁ (b. 1983, Brazil) | CHRISTINA QUARLES (b. 1985, US) | MARINA RHEINGANTZ (b. 1983, Brazil) | AVERY SINGER (b. 1987, US) | SALMAN TOOR (b. 1983, Pakistan) | ANH TRÂN (New Zealand / Vietnam, 1989) | ISSY WOOD (b. 1993, UK) | PORTIA ZVAVAHERA (b. 1985, Zimbabwe)

Loie Hollowell, Green Ovum, 2021, oil paint, acrylic medium, aqua resin and epoxy resin on linen over panell, 183 x 137 cm, courtesy of the artist & Pace Gallery

For a long time, painting was the poor relation in the western art world. Over the past few decades, artists have become increasingly fascinated by the digital, in the face of which painting might seem hopelessly old-fashioned. At the same time, the digital culture prompted another realisation: that an image can in itself be incredibly meaningful. In other parts of the art world, painting has always remained important. In South America, Asia and Africa, painting has been a vibrant, powerful and influential art form, thanks to its accessibility and the long, strong tradition from which it comes.

In recent years, this new awareness has inspired painters the world over. Norms have shifted and painting now has a greater sense of urgency than ever, including in the West. For the new generation of painters, digital images are a fact of life, something they have grown up with. Yet they choose to paint, precisely because painting gives them access to an unprecedented variety of artistic expression and influences. Today’s painters combine virtuosity with complex references to history – including art history – our contemporary image culture, engagement and cultural diversity. It makes their work a perfect reflection of the turbulent world we live in – a reflection than is richer, more challenging and more seductive.

It is therefore time for a new, ambitious painting exhibition. Brave New World will showcase the work of 17 painters who look at painting, and the world, in a new way. An extensive catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition, in which curator Hans den Hartog Jager considers the work of the participating artists against the backdrop of developments in painting over the past thirty years. Brave New World will delve into contemporary painting, explaining how it relates to today’s society and current events.

Portia Zvavahera, Cosmic Prayer, 2019, oil-based printing ink and oil on canvas, 194 x 187 cm, The Ekard Collection

This is not the first time Hans den Hartog Jager has been involved in a project of this kind. He has curated several exhibitions of contemporary art (including at Museum de Fundatie) in which painting has often been a key constant. In 2019 he curated Freedom – The Fifty Key Dutch Art Works since 1968 for Museum de Fundatie. Fifteen years ago, he wrote Verf (‘Paint’), for which he interviewed 18 well-known Dutch painters, including Marlene Dumas, Ger van Elk, Constant and Michael Raedecker. The book became an instant classic, and is still widely read by lovers of painting and art students.



Header: Neo Matloga, Dikarata, 2021, collage, charcoal, liquid charcoal, ink, soft pastel and acrylic on canvas, 2021, loan from the artist


  • From: 28 Jan 2023
  • Through: 11 Jun 2023
  • Location: Museum de Fundatie