De meeste mensen die menen van tekenkunst te houden,
houden alleen maar van plaatjes kijken.

// Annet Gelink, gallery in Amsterdam - tentoonstelling van tekeningen / Amsterdam-2004 //

Art is art. What's New not only draws parallels between the present and the past, but it's also an exhibition that demolishes the artificial division between old, classical modern and contemporary art. It is therefore with pride that the Annet Gelink Gallery presents this programmatic show, organized by Jhim Lamoree.

Occupying the entire front area of the gallery is a room with a chandelier by the American artist Virgil Marti. His installation, being shown in Europe for the first time, evokes the elegance and decadence of eighteenth-century Baroque and rococo. The dominating pattern on his panels is modern: the web of a spider fed on flies that are on marihuana. The allegorical sketch for a ceiling produced by Jacob de Wit in the eighteenth century has the same purpose in mind as Marti's room: to provoke us into thinking as we revolve within an environment of luxury.

The theme in the middle area is looking and imitating, the game of references that is as old as art itself, further elaborated by way of several ensembles.
The drawing by Vincent van Gogh after Hans Holbein is as academic as it is experimental. Marlene Dumas, an outstanding example of what it means to juggle with references, made a number of drawings with Holbein's death of Jesus in the back of her mind, drawings that are the result of a tangle of associations, with a single example or a number of examples as the visual engine. The partly blindfolded, partly bearded male heads raise the question: who is the perpetrator and who is the victim? Universal and utterly current!
An echo of the latent antagonism in Dumas's drawings can be felt in the drawings by Cornelis Saftleven and Adriaen van der Venne.
The landscapes by Hans Broek are produced by a minimum of materials, not much different from the minimal landscapes of Jacob van der Ulft. Among the direct sources of inspiration for Rita Ackermann were the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

In the back of the gallery, paradise is turned inside out. John Biesheuvel, Raymond Pettibon,
Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François Moriceau pose existential questions with respect to Henri Matisse's pastoral tableau and the scientific optimism that emerges from the drawings of Aert Schouman.

What's New not only presents the newest developments in art; it also demonstrates that little has changed. The intention is the same, it's the circumstances that are different. The times they are a-changing.