Howard Scott Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Duet: two artists in Amsterdam
on Thursday, the 10th of February. The artists are the painter, Vincent Hamel, whose work has
been represented in this country by Howard Scott since 1996, and his countryman and colleague,
Henri Plaat, whose work has not previously been exhibited publicly in New York. They are
united in having been born during the decade of the 1930s in Amsterdam, as well as by being
present day residents of that city which has been so famously nurturing of visual artists over the centuries. More important, perhaps, is the fact that each possesses an unusual sensitivity to color,
which is accorded an important role in their respective bodies of work, especially in that of Hamel, an abstract, reductive painter.
In the forthcoming exhibition, each artist will be represented by eight works, all of which involve a paper support and all of which are characterized by intimacy of scale, which produces a sharp focus on both the specific physicality of their chosen working materials and on their mark-making and other aspects of the “touch” of each artist.
Vincent Hamel, whose most recent solo exhibition with the gallery was in April 2003, departs in half of the works to be seen from his long practice of employing a dominant hue to achieve a dense, unified field of color in his works on canvas, panel, or paper. In these recent works, he contrasts hues having strong differences in value, using a geometric division of the field. Most of the works are executed in wax crayon on handmade paper, though others employ acrylic paint, gouache, or pen and ink.
The oeuvre of Henri Plaat contrasts strongly with that of Hamel (with its concentrated investigation of the most fundamental aspects of the nature of painting). Since beginning to exhibit publicly in 1965, Plaat has created many two-dimensional works involving the human figure, serene landscapes which border on the transcendental, highly sophisticated investigations of geometric structure and color, black-and-white photo/collages, as well as numerous 16 mm films which range in length from two minutes to forty minutes. The works which will represent him in the forthcoming exhibition, all made during 2004, are executed in layers of gouache of differing hues on collages of cut and joined paper elements. The language is geometric, with some oblique references to architectural structure. The surfaces reward careful viewing, as they seem abraded and altered, as though by the passage of time.