Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ger van Elk | Bulletin 33

Ger van Elk
Bulletin 33
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Art & Project, 1971
4 pp., 11.7 x 8.3", folded
Edition of 800

The 33rd (of an eventual 156) Art & Project Bulletin announces the Ger van Elk work Paul Klee - Um Den Fisch, 1926 (Around The Fish) from 1970, which consists of eight colour slides projected onto a wooden table with a white cloth. The slides document the artist consuming a meal based on a Klee painting. Van Elk reconstructed Klee’s work with tangible objects, replacing abstract designs with tangible items.

In addition to producing more Art & Project bulletins than any other artist (numbers 19, 33, 55, 65, 74, 100, 132, and 139), Ger Van Elk was also played a crucial role in introducing the Amsterdam gallery and publisher to numerous Los Angeles artists, including Bas Jan Ader (issues 44, 89), William Leavitt (58 and 80) and Allen Ruppersberg (67 and 105).

Van Elk moved from Amsterdam to Los Angeles in 1961, with his father, Peter Van Elk, an animator for Hanna Barbera, who worked on several episodes of the Flintstones. Here he befriend artists such as William Wegman, John Baldessari, and Robert Indiana. He was previously close with Bas Jan Ader, and when Ader also relocated to LA the two shared an apartment together on Sunset Boulevard.

"We wanted to be movie stars," Van Elk told Christophe Cherix in 2008. Their cohabitation was cut short when a neighbour set their house on fire and Ader moved in with his future wife, Mary Sue.

Van Elk had several solo exhibitions at the Art & Project gallery from 1970 to 1987, and (together with Marinus Boezem, Wim T. Schippers and Jan Dibbets) is seen as one of the main representatives of the conceptual art and arte povera movements in the Netherlands. His work was included in Documenta 5, in 1972, and in the influential exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” in 1969.

Ger van Elk died on Sunday (August 17th) at the age of 73.

Bulletin 33 is available for $99 from FTN Books, here.

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