On 1 November 2015, the sixth solo exhibition opens in Club Solo, featuring a collection of portraits by Iris Kensmil (Amsterdam, 1970). The exhibition is a composition of paintings and drawings, presented in combination with wall-sized installations. This way Kensmil works with the abstracte spacial gesture, while maintaining the classical refinement of painting from light.
There is a specific function for Iris Kensmil in her style of painting and drawing portraits. It gives black people a place in art history, while the people she depicts also have by themselves an active role in history. The exhibition is an open demonstration of this. It depends on the viewer whether he is familiar with this history.
In response to Iris Kensmil’s work, Van Abbemuseum will exhibit Charley Toorop’s Portrait of an Actress (1927) in the museum hall.
Iris Kensmil has invited rapper and theatre maker Akwasi (Amsterdam, 1988) to come to Club Solo on Tuesday 17 November, 8 PM. Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page to stay up to date, or send us an email at email@example.com to receive our newsletter.
Black Star (detail), 2015, oil on canvas, 90 x 75 cm
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
“I really had a Dutch upbringing, everything was about the Netherlands and everyone shared the idea that you have to go to the Netherlands.’ A woman from Suriname with yellow eyeshadow and a sumptuous scharf draped around her neck looks into the camera. ‘The Dutch history book was so think, the Surinamese so flat.’ She makes a certain length of centimers clear with her forefinger and thumb. ‘But when we arrived in the Netherlands, the Dutch people didn’t know anything about Suriname. Not even where it was. While we knew everything about the Netherlands.’
Mister Motley visited Club Solo and interviewed Iris Kensmil about her work, the exhibition and the response of the Van Abbemuseum. Click here to read the full interview by Lieneke Hulshof.