Op 10 oktober promoveerde kunsthistoricus en kunstacademiedocent Leo Delfgaauw aan de RUG met een boeiend onderzoek naar hoe oudere kunstenaars niet ophouden met leren. Wat je terugziet in zowel hun levensverhaal als hun werk is eigenlijk dat zij ‘leren zij van het leren’. Dat aspect van life long learning is ook voor niet-kunstenaars interessant. Onze Australische gastblogster Susan Tredenick bezocht de expositie ‘Elke stap is een volgende’ die van 10 t/m 20 oktober te zien is bij Academie Minerva aan de Praediniussingel 59.
What happens when artists inevitably grow old? Leo Delfgaauw’s PhD-subject, as all questions containing messaging of ageing is close to my heart. Leo’s research enforces the spotlight to be put squarely on the older artist. The research concentrates mainly on the educative process of advanced artistry. The partnering exhibition gives an enlightening glance into the actual artwork that is being produced by these older artists as well as representation of the influences that dominate different stages of life.
The exhibition’s staging and portraits themselves have managed to bring to life the story of ageing and its influence on the artist’s work. The depiction in the various self-portraits show us the influence that time has, not only physically but also on the artist’s ability.
Each symbol represents a factor that shapes our thinking around ageing and the staging of life. The self-portraits, as previously mentioned, that depict both the younger and older artist and life’s influence, the clocks that remind us of the passing and movement between time, the stairs that represent steps that one must take to negotiate one’s own life and the accompanying stories. But here in this exhibition it is the reference specifically to the older artist and what can be learnt from their experiences that will be used to guide future educative processes. Of special mention is the video-artwork of Margriet Luyten, portraits of 9 artists, ‘’ “ In the nine-part work that she has composed on the basis of these artists, she actually gives consideration to their present ages. Their lives as artists are contained in double portraits, each one opening a segment.”
Displayed in the Minerva building, it is a stark room that confronts the visitor but the exhibition inside will give many a cause for contemplating life’s influence and a timely reminder of the importance of the work and the need for the older artist to continue to be acknowledged.