the Pitcairn Museum of Contemporary Art

Anne Jaap de Rapper

From Slumber

Overexploitation thinks the artist. Thinks Anne Jaap de Rapper ‘When you work through manic episodes, as I do, you can exhaust yourself. It can take a while before something starts to brew again. It’s normalize, de-normalize, normalize, de-normalize, normalize’.  Every episode has always been an exploration. A change of course too. Anyone who strays from their path, out of boredom, restlessness, or doubt, or out of curiosity for completely different perspectives, may in the end know themselves from the sum of all these explorations. Somewhere there must be something pithy to be found.

De Rapper, who built installations and interiors from carefully chosen ready-mades, reconstructed primitive wooden figurines bought at flea markets from chicken wire and polyester and set up a factory line in which he repeatedly painted the same picture while phoning friends and family members, so as to keep his mind off his work as much as possible, so that his painter’s hand could run its course as autonomously as possible (Representative Works). De Rapper, who withdrew for ten years to build his dream studio in an abandoned tower on a motorway in Friesland.

If only I could finish my studio in this fortress, I would no longer let my work be dictated by a capricious mind. Then I will be primarily a craftsman and it will be daily routines and skills that determine my work.

There, in his fortress, his ‘donjon in no man’s land’, he became a watercolorist for several years. He painted with very small brushes, what he called spaces in between. Or spaces in the urban landscape (Spaces Spaces). The last watercolor he made concerned a cluttered allotment complex close to his tower.

And then his mind dictated that he plant an apple tree in his front yard. And that was the end of the matter and De Rapper was no longer a watercolorist. He planted his flag in the forgotten gardens. And built a series of edible micro-landscapes. He had always been an indoor child, without experience.

Now there is the studio and the landscape. Both created by himself. Now there is the routine. Now there are the seasons. The weather. Nature dictating. And the mind, which responds. Not predation, but slumber, awakening, intense growth, proliferation too and then back to slumber.

Text: written by Anne Jaap de Rapper 21-04-2022

From Slumber’ starts as an empty room, the work will develop over the weeks.

Anne Jaap de Rapper (Ysbrechtum, 1977) graduated from Minerva Academy in Groningen in 1999. In 2001 he completed his Masters in painting at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen.

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