• Main

    WassinkLundgren: Lu Xiaoben

Photography

New WassinkLundgren show celebrates the Dutch duo's conceptual greatness

Posted by Rob Alderson,

The first big show of a new year is always a yardstick for any gallery but over in Amsterdam the ever-excellent FOAM has set the bar high with its first offering of 2013. One Group Show is the first major solo exhibition from Thijs groot Wassink and Ruben Lundgren, whose work as WassinkLundgren we’ve long admired here at It’s Nice That. The duo describe their output as “conceptual documentary photography” and this show brings together some of their favourite projects from the past seven years. The Dutch born artists now split their time between London and Beijng and their work is marked with a multinational influence which gives it a unique viewpoint.

On the surface their projects sometimes seem frivolous – screenshots of bedroom musicians singing along to a viral Chinese hit (Aaaaaaao), a video compilation of dogs outside shops waiting for their owners, photographs of scavengers picking up bottles left in shot by the pair. But there’s always method behind the apparent madness and WassinkLundgren are able to explore serious themes through their own delightfully silly perspective.

Take WassinkLundgren is still searching a book of images put together and printed before the editing process, so that each time one was sold the artists would go through and rip out whichever pictures failed to resonate on that particular day. Or consider This land is your land where the pair collected soil from some of the most valuable real estate in Amsterdam; witty yes but also thought-provoking.

Their newest monograph Hits (published by Fw:) takes a typically left field approach too, resenting their work only through the prism of Google Images searches, as Thijs and Ruben cede control of their portfolio to the algorithmic whims of the world wide web.

One Group Show runs until March 17.

  • Is-still-searching_01

    WassinkLundgren: WassinkLundgren is still searching

  • Is-still-searching_02

    WassinkLundgren: WassinkLundgren is still searching

  • Is-still-searching_03

    WassinkLundgren: WassinkLundgren is still searching

  • Aaaaaaao_-1

    WassinkLundgren: Aaaaaaao

  • Aaaaaaao_-13

    WassinkLundgren: Aaaaaaao

  • Aaaaaaao_-22

    WassinkLundgren: Aaaaaaao

  • Tokyo-tokyo_01

    WassinkLundgren: Tokyo Tokyo

  • Tokyo-tokyo_02

    WassinkLundgren: Tokyo Tokyo

  • Tokyo-tokyo_04

    WassinkLundgren: Tokyo Tokyo

  • Wlhits01

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits02

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits03

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits04

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits05

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits06

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits07

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits08

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits09

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits10

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits11

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits12

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

  • Wlhits13

    WassinkLundgren: Hits

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Exhibition View Archive

  1. Ruth_van_beek_rehearsal_it's_nice_that_list

    London is the most Instagrammed city in the world, but this week photography has hit the capital like never before. Over the next four days some 70 galleries have taken up residence under Somerset House’s neoclassical roof, bringing together a mix of vintage and contemporary prints for the largest photography fair ever held in London.

  2. Camper_life_on_foot_its_nice_that_list

    Shoes are functional. They keep our feet dry and safe from the elements but we have an ingrained desire to take the humble shoe beyond this purpose. We like to make them into objects we can admire, play around with and explore. For Spanish footwear brand Camper, this sense of fun is at the heart of what they do and we’re given a glimpse of this creativity in a new exhibition at the Design Museum. Life on Foot marks the 40 year anniversary of Camper and takes us on the journey from collection conception all the way to the shop floor.

  3. David-hockney-perspective-should-be-reversed-itsnicethat-list

    David Hockney never fails to astound me. He’s likely the most prolific British painter, printmaker and photographer our generation will see, and rather than settle down into one comfortable style – he has entertained more than a few over the course of his 50-year and counting career – he continues to set himself new lines to cross. He pushes back on the boundaries he had set himself the last time around. 

  4. Brooklyn-museum-basquiat-itsnicethat-list

    There are few artists who have had the impact in their entire careers that Jean-Michel Basquiat achieved in his 28 years. The self-taught Brooklyn-born artist was inspired by everything he came into contact with, creating work influenced by hip-hop, politics, advertising and children’s drawings to perfectly encapsulate the culture he inhabited. As such his notebooks – filled with sketches, fragments of poetry and personal observations about race, class and culture – have been elevated to the status of sacred relics. Luckily for us, these relics are currently on show at The Brooklyn Museum, offering a never-before-seen glimpse into his inner life.

  5. David-jien-its-nice-that-list

    “The serpent no longer slumbers! He is awoken! Who shall deliver us from this affliction? Deep corruption has befallen our lands. Lo, Formosa has fallen, Shakran and his black words have immersed deep within our peoples. We have forgotten our ways and are divided, father against son, mother against daughter. The reptilian plague promises pleasure and power. We have lost many kin to its deception, they now fill the ranks of Shakran’s saurian swarm. Those fortunate enough to elude the intoxicating clutch have found refuge under a different regime. Pilgrims have flocked together from all corners of the land in search of a new Formosa, Exodus dawns.”

  6. Kenzo-doty-list

    As with every year, the sprawling, disparate, all-over-the-shop nature of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year show is both the brilliant thing about it and the thing that makes it so utterly disorienting. Having an Escher-inspired mobile game (Monument Valley) share space with the Google self-driving car and a sanitation system for remote, off-grid areas (Eawag’s Blue Diversion unit) makes even the least design-oriented visitor surely question the nature of what “design” itself means. Should it look beautiful? Should it make our day easier? Should it help the planet? Should it save lives?

  7. Hw-rocksteadycrew-2-int_copy

    A typeface without a name or a known designer is the subject of a new exhibition that chronicles its use in the 70s and 80s throughout a variety of subcultures. Heated Words: Initial Research is a show curated by Rory McCartney and Charlie Morgan, examining this typeface – one that existed only as physical iron-on flock lettering, and was appropriated by New York street gangs and b-boys, as well as band like The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite.

  8. Va-alexander-mcqueen-int-list

    This week saw the opening of the V&A’s much-lauded exhibition of Alexander McQueen’s life’s work, Savage Beauty, a show which attempts to paint McQueen in all of the forms he appeared throughout his career. The experience is almost overwhelming in its presentation of the designer as a visionary, and I left the press view with lists of adjectives covering every available inch of paper I could reach: perverse, sexual, primitive, distorted, gothic, mourning, melancholy. None of them quite seemed to cover it.

    Senior research assistant Kate Bethune worked on the exhibition for around 18 months in the lead up to its opening. “It’s been an absolutely privilege to work on,” she explained to us in a busy corner at the press view yesterday, as the show exhibited in a similar form at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art several years back, there’s a sense that Savage Beauty has now come home. “London was the heart of McQueen’s world,” Kate continued. “He was born here, he was raised in the East End, he attended Central Saint Martins, trained at Savile Row as a tailor and established his fashion label here. It really meant everything to him.”

  9. David-james-uma-thurman-int-list

    Lucien Freud, Kate Moss, Joaquin Phoenix…it reads like that list of dream dinner party guests you have to reel out in awkward “getting to know you" games. But it’s more than that: this all-star list is just a sliver of the cast that creative director David James has worked with over the years. David has been creative director at AnOther Magazine for the past decade, creating iconic images with photographers including Craig McDean, Willy Vanderperre and Nick Knight. If you missed out on getting the mags IRL, don’t fret: today sees the launch of Everything that Matters – an online retrospective of David’s editorial work. It makes for a lovely little scroll, even if it does make us feel pretty old to think that the time that’s passed since 2005 is retrospective-worthy.

  10. Andrew-bruce-_-anna-fox_-norman-tebbitint-list

    If ever you needed a reminder of the occasionally ludicrous caricatures that have made up British politics, a new show of images of the Spitting Image puppets will be in London just before the election in May.

  11. Neil_kenlock_untitled_young_woman_seated_on_the_floor_at_home_in_front_of_her_television_set_c-_type_print_london_1972__neil_kenlock_victoria_and_albert_london-int-list

    The new exhibition at London’s V&A Museum, Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s -1960s came as the result of a conscious decision by the organisation to broaden and enrich its collection, curator Marta Weiss explained at the opening yesterday. “Over the last seven years the V&A has been working with Black Cultural Archives to acquire photographs either by black photographers or which document the lives of black people in Britain,” Marta says, “a previously under-represented area in the V&A’s photographs collection.”

  12. New-listdr-lakra's-record-covers-collection.-magnificent-obsessions_the-artist-as-collector_-barbican-art-gallery.-%c2%a9peter-macdiarmid_-getty-images

    I’ve always been quite partial to bric-a-brac, but it’s never been more compelling to me than while I was wandering around the Barbican’s new exhibition Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector yesterday. The show is effectively a paean to the idea that you are the stuff you keep, and as such it’s a hoarder’s dream.

  13. Paul-rand-list

    Designs that transcend time, the fripperies of fashion and taste and the brand they’re attached to are ones that ensure their place in the canon; and one man who created such work is Paul Rand.