Daan van Golden’s Apperception

Daan van Golden’s Apperception

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Daan van Golden, “White Painting,” 1966.
Gloss paint on canvas on framed panel. 100 x 100cm.*

January 24, 2012

Daan van Golden
28 January–29 April 2012

Opening: Friday, 27 January, 7pm

Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels, Belgium
Wed–Sun, 11:00–18:00

T +32 (0)2 340 00 50



WIELS presents the largest retrospective of Dutch artist Daan van Golden to date.

Although he has worked since the early 60s, Daan van Golden has produced a limited body of work, resulting from his “meditative” painting process, which favors slowness and concentration. The artist, fond of travels and discoveries, immigrated to Japan from 1963 to 1964. This travel had a decisive influence his work, since he then abandoned abstract expressionism for an entirely unique geometric abstraction.

If formally van Golden’s earliest work can be likened to hard edge painting, which advocates flat shapes and hard, clean edges, his work, unlike the later where the subject is painting itself, takes its inspiration from existing decorative and vernacular patterns, such as wrapping papers, tissues and towels. In the early 60′s, van Golden thus renounced the lyrical gesture for a very slow and methodical painting process, owing to his fervent Zen philosophy and meant to induce in both their author and viewers a state of calm and fulfillment. At the same time, he found himself at the forefront of Pop art with his vernacular references, and also at forefront of minimal art with his repetition of patterns and similar structures.

Since then, Daan van Golden has never ceased to appropriate fragments of reality or found images, which he meticulously reproduces. The artist’s gaze captures details, often minute, of the visible world in order to reveal hidden forms: a child’s face materializes in a flower, a bird emerges between two columns of a Greek temple, and a halo appears behind Mick Jagger’s portrait… The visual experiences to which the artist invites us form the basis of a conception of art intimately connected to life, by making us perceive the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Even though the originality of Daan van Golden’s work quickly caught the interest of the art world, the artist decided to withdraw from public view soon after his consecration at the Documenta in Kassel in 1968, where the artist exhibited along with one of his idols, Yves Klein. Over the next decade, the artist didn’t exhibit anymore, but continued to work nonetheless. This period was rich in travels that lead the artist to faraway destinations, such as India, Indonesia, and Latin America, etc., where van Golden developed his photography. Like his painting practice, his photographs reveal moments of playful scrutiny that pepper his daily life. From 1978 on, the artist focused his lens more specifically on his daughter Diana who inspired a long series of pictures, which are among his best known, and gathered under the title inspired by Oscar Wilde, “Youth is an art.”

Even if he has been associated with artistic movements as diverse as abstraction, minimalism, Pop art, conceptual painting, postmodernism and appropriation art, the work of van Golden nonetheless occupies a unique position in the history of contemporary painting. The retrospective of the artist at WIELS will present all the various aspects of his work, through a selection of major works and others, which have never yet been exhibited, and will illustrate the singularity of this visionary artist.

Curated by Devrim Bayar.

A catalogue, with texts by the curator, Devrim Bayar, Sven Lütticken and Erik Thys will accompany the exhibition.

With the support of Mondriaan Stichting

Complementary Program
Conversation between Willem Oorebeek and Daan van Golden
Screening of TV-film on ‘Documenta IV’ & TV-show Hoepla (1976)
Conversation with Willem Oorebeek
Lecture tour by curator Devrim Bayar
More info on www.wiels.org

Press contact
Micha Pycke
T +32 (0)2 340 00 51

*Image above:
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Loan of Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.

RSVP for Daan van Golden’s Apperception
WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
January 24, 2012

Thank you for your RSVP.

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.