The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
"Folio" by Piet Dirkx consists of nine panels of equal size, displayed alongside each other on a rough wooden beam. The correct height to hang the beam is the same as its length: 214 cm. The backs of the virtually identical panels are numbered and have a set sequence. Among the methods used to create the panels, Dirkx used encaustic painting, which involves binding pigment with beeswax. The pigment is not evenly distributed. Viewed from up close, we can make out brushstrokes running in various directions. Even from a distance, we can still see the effect of a coat of paint that is not entirely even.
From November 1985 to January 1986 Dirkx held an exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum, featuring variously sized, mainly monochrome works on cardboard, wood and linen. He installed them at different heights, either as standalone or multiple panels, side by side or one above the other, on the walls, on the floor and on a stepladder that had been placed in the gallery. The individual works, in many cases painted on cigar packs or cartons (which Dirkx himself had smoked), were somewhere in between paintings and sculptures. Due to the way in which the exhibition was arranged, the exhibition had an informal, non-definitive nature. Dirkx himself saw an exhibition as a state of affairs determined by intuition.
"Folio" is definitive. The dimensions and the way it is installed are fixed. However, the seemingly arbitrary hanging height, the rough wood of the beam, the somewhat indefinable colour of the panels and the subtle differences between them give the work an indeterminate character
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