The Erasmus University may not offer a degree that strictly involves the production of art, but that doesn’t stop spectacular art pieces from arriving on campus. On Thursday evening, the Erasmus Gallery played host to the opening of a special exhibition featuring the works of Koen Taselaar and Henri Jacobs, who also has been selected to produce two tapestries that will decorate the walls of the newly renovated library. Inspired by their respective trips to Kolkata, India, the duo curated a unique amalgamation of art defined by their intricate patterns and eye-popping colors.
The name of the exhibition, JA TA TA JA, is simply an exotic way of combining the last names of both artists. According to Taselaar, who was raised in Rotterdam, a translator in Kolkata said the name roughly translates to ‘The Ultimate Freshness.” In that sense, the name is fitting as it is rare to see two artists work in tandem in order to create an exhibition that blends each other’s visions and styles.
“For Koen and I, it’s been a delight for us to display our work at the University because we’ve had a free hand in designing the exhibition,” Jacobs told EM. “I just hope students take the time to view the pieces while they’re still here.”
Looking at one of the walls near the back of the gallery, it’s impossible to avoid the visual interplay between the two artists as their pieces superimpose on each other, in a way that leaves the viewer paralyzed, without the ability to recognize which piece belongs to whom. Jacobs describes the interaction of the works as a representation of both “the dream and the nightmare” that is visiting the city of Kolkata.
Both artists got to visit the city thanks to the Mondriaan Fund, named after the renowned Piet Mondriaan, whose most famous works were defined by neat black lines that separated three primary colors from blocks of white. “Piet’s work is not like ours, but if he had been to India, his choice of color would have certainly been different,” Jacobs joked.
For those who weren’t able to make it to this pleasurable night of art and wine, no worries. JA TA TA JA will be on display in the Erasmus Gallery until the 7th of July.