BravinLee programs is pleased to present Miners, new paintings by Philip Akkerman. BravinLee programs has exhibited Philip Akkerman since 1993.
Akkerman’s work is entirely self-portraiture but limitation leads to a stunning diversity. Painting variations of the same subject repeatedly for his entire career, Mr. Akkerman searches for something different each time, exploring all possibilities that paint, the mind and the self have to offer. Akkerman searches for universal qualities veiled within particular characteristics.
Past exhibitions of Mr. Akkerman have been selected to emphasize the contrasts in painterly approach and the juxtaposition of appearance in each painting. But for this exhibition, Akkerman and BravinLee chose to show one type of paintings, a series, devoid of color, all in shades of grays from light to dark. The face of the painter is dark and dirty and resembles the face of a coal miner… A miner, whose daily work is to toil deep into the earth for the fuel of our world. Mr. Akkerman keeps on digging the mother lode of his own likeness.
In a letter to BravinLee, architecture and art scholar Jeffrey Kipnis wrote:
“In my view, the brilliance of Akkerman’s project is in its indulgence in the promiscuous capacity of painting technique to lie – against the tradition of Dutch self-portraiture understood as the example par excellence of paint to reveal a deeper truth – thus, there can only be “one” Akkerman – i.e., the continuing unfolding total ensemble of the experiment (as opposed to the importance of each Rembrandt or van Gogh self-portrait). One can pick one’s favorites, but the essence of the project itself nullifies any tenable basis for choice.” Jeffrey Kipnis
Philip Akkerman was born in Vaassen in The Netherlands in 1957 and now lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands. In addition to numerous museum exhibitions, Akkerman’s work is included in the collections of The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., The Cartin Collection, In 2011 Akkerman enjoyed a survey exhibition at The Kunsthal Rotterdam. He is represented in Zürich by Galerie Bob van Orsouw, in London by Mummery & Schnelle and in Amsterdam by Torch Gallery.