Artist Roland Schimmel (Hooglanderveen, 1954) has been invited by the Van Abbemuseum to create a mural in the space of Het Oog (The Eye). From April 4th, for a period of approximately five weeks Schimmels will create a mural, The Innocent Eye, which will constantly change under shifting natural light. Het Oog is a perfect location for Schimmel’s work, because its curved wall captures and reflects daylight. The black suns in the painting will interact with the dazzling effect of the sun itself, which will be visible above the wall in summer.
Once the work is finished, visitors will be able to enter the space. On June 21, the day the sun is closest to the earth, there will be an official presentation in the presence of the artist. Curator and writer Mark Kremer will give his reaction to The Innocent Eye.
A key element in Schimmel’s work is the functioning of the eye, and in particular the perception of after-images and halo-effects. The eye, like the brain, works not just as a passive recipient of information but also as an active selection and projection tool.
In his paintings, murals / installations and computer animations, Roland Schimmel aims to create a visual short-circuit. Viewers will experience an inevitable reaction which results in “after-images”. For Schimmel, this variation and flux is key - he is interested in the uncontrollable in our perception and the associated ‘feelings of powerlessness’.
Schimmel discovered that the eye is very sensitive to the blinding impact of black. This resulted in the appearance of black circles in his work, which are often associated with black holes, black suns or a sun eclipse. The Innocent Eye connects with Lissitzky's Victory over the Sun, a key work in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum. The installation in Het Oog does not share the revolutionary hubris of that time, but "allows us to reconsider our place in the sun", as Lawrence Weiner once defined an artwork.
The mural activates the natural capacity of the eye to see what is not visible, that what remains hidden behind the visible. Schimmel’s work allows us to see the endless potential of unrealised possibilities.
Het Oog (The Eye) is an area in the Van Abbemuseum that offers a stage for artists to create new work during a working period of six months. Het Oog is a special ‘open-air’ location of the museum where artists conduct a site-specific project.