The group exhibition ONWARD&UPWARD shows art as inspiration, guidance and solace in a life full of uncertainties. The immediate cause for the exhibition is the unpredictable present we find ourselves in. However, have there ever been times full of certainty and security? The concept of ONWARD&UPWARD looks beyond COVID-19 to reflect on the insecurities and pitfalls of life, on the strength and power of life. Whatever happens, we must carry on moving ‘onward’ and ‘upward’ using all the means at our disposal. The exhibition is on show @droog in Amsterdam from 2 October to 17 January 2021. "We must cultivate our garden", Voltaire wrote at the end of his novel Candide. In other words, let's do what is in our power to bring change and improvement to the world by starting close to ourselves. In line with this, you could say that, in order to grow ‘onward’ and ‘upward’, we need art that brings us close to ourselves. The scenography of the exhibition, designed by Liselore Frowijn, is a surreal garden. A garden is continuously evolving and in need of constant care. The garden is a visual feast, but it can also contain poisonous plants and roses with mean thorns. Unwanted elements keep popping up too: fungi, weeds, dead leaves. Yet it is the place that moves you, gives you comfort and joy, a place that both gives peace of mind and puts you to work. The art that appears in this scenography leaves aside the major social issues. First comes the visual power of art, poetic art, art that moves us, art that comforts us, art that gives hope and love, art that makes us happy, art that embraces us, evokes emotion, art that inspires and stimulates us… art that is close to our skin, art on a human scale. But also, art that in this context astonishes, scrapes, stings and offers unexpected points of view. In short, art that guides us to deal with uncertainty. Confirmed artists: Anthony Goicolea (1971, US), Anya Janssen (1962, NL), Charlotta Östlund (1973, FI) , Elspeth Diederix (1971, NL), Emily Bates (1970, NL) , Emma Prempeh (1996, UK), George Stamenov (1988, BG), Hugo Rocci, (1989, FR), Joana Choumali (1974, CI), Jorge Mañes Rubio (1984, ES), Margaret Lansink (1961, NL), Margriet van Breevoort (1990, NL), Mike Pelletier (1978, CA), Niek Hendrix (1985, NL), Sethembile Msezane (1991, SA) and Sophie Ruigrok (1992, UK), with more to be announced soon. ONWARD&UPWARD is open daily from 11.00 to 19.00 hrs. @droog is open daily from 9.00 to 19.00 hrs.
For all information and tickets: www.onwardandupward.nl
Pictures by Thijs Wolzak, 2020.