Yvonne Dröge Wendel: To Be To Gather

14 May - 10 July 2022
Location: Stroom, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Open: Wednesday - Sunday, 12:00-17:00
Also open during Hoogtij #69 on Friday 27 May (19:00-22:00)
Opening reception: Saturday 14 May, 17:00
 
This spring Stroom presents the solo exhibition To Be To Gather by the artist Yvonne Dröge Wendel, a selection from her rich artistic practice, which spans three decades. Dröge Wendel's work is a passionate search for the conditions under which objects and people can enter into meaningful and lasting relationships. Stroom looks forward to creating common ground between her practice and the recent interest in a renewed relationship between people and the material world.
The exhibition goes hand in hand with the unveiling on June 22 of Dröge Wendel's new sculpture of the same name in The Sculpture Gallery, the permanent display of important Dutch sculpture in the The Hague's city center.

"The process of creating a physical object is for me in fact a search for the right conditions with which to capture and transform ways of talking, feeling and relating to objects, and consequently a search for an understanding of material as an active element of our social construct."
- Yvonne Dröge Wendel

This fascination with the relational and performative capacity of objects is the common thread in Dröge Wendel's work. In 1992, she herself entered into one of the most remarkable relationships with an object imaginable by marrying a Wendel brand wooden cabinet from her mother's estate. She took the name of the cabinet and went on honeymoon with it to Portugal. What at first glance seems like an absurdist action actually goes back to a very existential question. How are things, people, nature, skills, and ideas tied together and how are they shaping each other? 

At Stroom, the public is invited to relate to the works in the exhibition in a playful and accessible manner. Dröge Wendel creates a collection of contact moments in which every action forces you to focus on your relationship to the space and the work. Some works of art are still in the process of becoming, or their role seems undetermined. In the work It makes you feel (2004), for example, visitors are invited to use a wooden stick with the help of various manuals. The question here is what happens when you use this specific stick in this specific way. The Black Ball (2000-ongoing) is a felt ball with a diameter of 3.5 meters that balances between monumentality and caressability. Other works also encourage further contact such as Hospital (1992), Wooden Sticks (1996) and Furniture for a Think Tank (2010-ongoing), and arise through changing constellations and questioning. All are ongoing exercises in encounters. 

For the visitors not one route through the exhibition and not one experience will be the same: an intriguing and at the same time playful realization that characterizes the work of Yvonne Dröge Wendel.


Acknowledgements:
The exhibition is made possible by Pieter and Marieke Sanders Collection, Lumen Travo Gallery and the support of The City of The Hague.

Biography:
Yvonne Dröge Wendel (Karlsruhe 1961) lives and works in Amsterdam. She graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and attended the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam and the Delfina Studios in London. Currently she is head of the visual arts department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her oeuvre has been nominated for the Prix de Rome and in 2016 she was the laureate of the Dr. A.H. Heinekenprijs voor de Kunst

Exhibitions and projects
Jam Extra - Forest destroyed due to a vast amount of strawberry jam, Paltz Biennale Soest (2021); LIEBES DING - OBJECT LOVE Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2020); Dismantling the Scaffold, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2018); Furniture for a Think Tank, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (2018); Paint it Soft, Schunck Glaspaleis, Heerlen (2017); 200 Years Prix de Rome, Kunsthal Rotterdam (2009); Carried Away- Sonsbeek- Procession in Art- Museum Contemporary Art Arnhem, (2008); Hit and Run, Platform Garanti, Centre of Contemporary Art, Istanbul (2002); Rafiki International, Slipway, Dar- Es-Salaam (2001); For Real, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2000); City Pity, Workhouse, Liverpool Biennial (1999); Wasanii, National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi (1999). 

Yvonne Dröge Wendel: To Be To Gather
photo: design: Kylien Sarino Bergh
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, opening 'To Be To Gather' at Stroom
photo: Naomi Moonlion, courtesy Stroom Den haag
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, opening 'To Be To Gather' at Stroom
photo: Naomi Moonlion, courtesy Stroom Den haag
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, opening 'To Be To Gather' at Stroom
photo: Naomi Moonlion, courtesy Stroom Den haag
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, opening 'To Be To Gather' at Stroom
photo: Naomi Moonlion, courtesy Stroom Den haag
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, opening 'To Be To Gather' at Stroom
photo: Naomi Moonlion, courtesy Stroom Den haag
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, 'Black Ball Istanbul, Hit and Run', Platform Garanti, Centre of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, 2004
photo: the artist
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, 'inFormed- Think Tank', 2018
photo: Dan Walwin
Yvonne Dröge Wendel, 'It makes you feel', UTwente, Vrijthof 2012
photo: the artist