Overview exhibition ‘The Rijnbar’, Marcel van Eeden. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

From 6 December 2019 through 27 February 2020 the exhibition The Rijnbar will be on view at the Circl.ART, the project space of the ABN AMRO art collection in Circl in the Zuidas district.

‘The Rijnbar’ - Drawings by Marcel van Eeden

This exhibition features the latest series of drawings by Marcel van Eeden. The series of 32 drawings depicts a mysterious and exciting story set against the backdrop of Amsterdam South, the Hortus and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

Marcel van Eeden (The Hague, 1965) bases his drawings on photographs and text fragments from various books, newspapers, magazines and archives from before 1965. Many of the drawings are therefore in black and white. His stories take place in the "before" of the artist, in the time when Van Eeden was not yet born. The drawings and text fragments merge naturally and connect different situations with each other to produce new suggestive and enigmatic stories with an underlying tension. Marcel van Eeden gets inspiration for his stories from, among other sources, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). The philosopher’s ideas – freely interpreted – also play an important role in the series The Rijnbar, which is part of an ever-expanding oeuvre of (series of) drawings. Together they form a universe created by Marcel van Eeden, in a past parallel to our reality.

The drawings for The Rijnbar tell the story of a certain Dr. Mac Intosch, who comes to Amsterdam and installs in the basement of the Rijnbar on Rijnstraat a machine through which he can generate energy from the "will" of things. The "will" (derived from Schopenhauer's most famous work: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung [The World as Will and Representation]) is a life force, an energy hidden in organisms and inanimate things. An attempt to extract energy from cacti in the Amsterdam Hortus is not successful. The paintings of great masters in the Rijksmuseum seem to offer a better source.

Cacti, engine rooms, paintings and stimulating soirees together form an absurdist and, at the same time, exciting story. With the recognizable architecture of Amsterdam South playing a lead role in the series, the Zuidas district is an apt location to display these works. In addition to The Rijnbar, a few large drawings that Van Eeden has been making since 2012 provide a broader view of his oeuvre.

The Rijnbar was organized by curator Colin Huizing. The book Marcel van Eeden. The Rijnbar is published on the occasion of this exhibition (LM Publishers, Volendam).

More about Circl.Art

Art is constantly in a state of flux. Artists manage to make unconventional connections, dare to dream and more quickly sense, as the 'seismometers' of our times, what goes on in the world around us. Vision and a free way of thinking lie at the heart of a circular economy. Circl.ART is, for that reason, intended as a platform for new developments in art – art that stimulates the imagination and anticipates social and topical themes. At the same time, Circl.ART aims to provide a podium that enables artists to reach a wide audience. This could involve presentations of work from the ABN AMRO collection or other contemporary art that focuses on social topics such as the circular economy, while also showcasing exhibitions of young and rising talent, sometimes in connection with the ABN AMRO Art Award.