11 January - 15 February 2014

You Can Find me in the Candy Aisle

Stigter van Doesburg is proud to present Bert Mebius’s first exhibition at the gallery. Bert Mebius’s drawings have the offhand simplicity and crude directness of casually made notes and sketches. They are unsophisticated and with many. Both their multitude and their simplicity are the outcome of a lifelong process.They are mostly made of simple materials: pencil, ink, ballpoint pen, felttip pen, watercolour, stationery, scrap paper.  Bert Mebius’s drawings suggest that they are about something, that they signify something or other, have content, make sense even. They present human figures, landscapes, animals, objects, interiors. They show things happening, people talking, people acting. They bring up a wide range of subjects: religion, politics, sexuality, travel, art, education, violence, mental-health care, mother nature, philosophy, science. They give vent to anger, love, opinions, doubts, prejudice, insights, lack of understanding.

Text constitutes an important part of most drawings. Some consist of text only. Memories are being reminisced, adventures told, thoughts phrased, ideas worded. Occasionally words fail. Occasionally the imagery falls apart into constellations of stains and scratches, presenting a view of a different, concrete kind of art. They are deliberately left to the destructive effects of time. Sometimes they are thoughtful or acute, but in most cases they are shallow, incomprehensible, tasteless, stupid, awkward, ugly, or downright incompetent. Occasionally, though, they look surprisingly good, as if made by an accomplished artist. Quite often they make you smile or even laugh out loud. They are unique, i.e. they are not part of a series, nor do they share any intentions or purpose. Apart from being the results of committed daily labor, they do not stem from any method or procedure, let alone from any research. They are on their own (though trying to belong), probably to be forgotten, eventually. Despite the many differences in means, graphics and subject matter, Bert Mebius’s drawings share common ground. They are all the results of committed daily labor and are all committed to the questions that makes up the heart of all art; “What is this all about?”

In the late 1980s Bert Mebius started a series of primarily small seizes works on paper. This series has been growing ever since, currently comprising a corpus of several thousands. Since a few years most of these drawings has been published on a more or less daily basis on the Internet. In addition selections were published in art magazines like Kunstbeeld, Mister Motley and Tubelight.