Catching Some Air: Library Drawings by Bik Van der Pol
1 June – 1 September 2002
Exhibition in the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery
Collecting, copying, reappropriating and transforming... Bik Van der Pol turned a Fellowship at the Institute's Research Library into a years-long drawing exercise.
Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol are artists who are nominally based in Rotterdam. In fact they have been very nomadic in recent years, showing most recently in Stockholm at the Moderna Museet and in New York in PS1.
In 2000 the award of a Henry Moore Institute Fellowship allowed them to rest up a little, using our library for their own research interests, with no immediate outcomes expected.
In different ways the work of Bik Van der Pol (who work collaboratively under this name) reflects and amends the institutions where it is shown, often by a quite literal use of a construction which mirrors an original space, such as a studio kitchen or a gallery bookshop, sometimes ‘imported’ from another gallery altogether.
This time their work reflects the books which they looked at in the library of the Henry Moore Institute, and the images which they photocopied. After they left, and resumed their exhibition itinerary, they sent us back tracings of the photocopies which had retained their interest. These tracings - over 200, and all done in black-felt tip pen - are pinned to the walls of the gallery.
Like many artists, Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol mined the library for imagery. They were particularly interested in the experimental work of artists from the 1960s and 70s - Nauman, Buren, Beuys, Acconci - though their range extends back and forward. Some of their images are well known, others less so, and while most lie within the field of the ‘art-library’, others come from more everyday sources. The results - this fluttering loose-leaf library - is thus at once familiar and strange.
This exhibition has been programmed to coincide with The Object Sculpture. The range of exhibits reflects many of the images among the Library Drawings.
A facsimile sketchbook, in which all the drawings are reproduced, accompanies the exhibition. It includes short essays by Penelope Curtis and Lynda Morris.