Artists find common ground for current SUNY Fredonia exhibition

While they are married and share a studio space in the Netherlands, Dutch artists Jacqueline Kooter and Jan Theun van Rees said their current exhibition in the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at SUNY Fredonia is a first for them. They have never before collaborated for an exhibition.

The title of the Marion Gallery exhibition is “Xing Perspectives” (pronounced “crossing” perspectives) and van Rees explained that’s exactly what the artists have done for this exhibition.

“We are telling a story together,” van Rees said. “We both have our own vision for our works. For this exhibition, we looked for moments where those views crossed each other.”

Kooter works in the mediums of painting and video. She is a graduate of The Amsterdam Academy for the Visual Arts. She specializes in site-specific large painterly installations which sometimes are related to dance performances and in the production of meticulously made short animation movies.

In these movies she creates an imaginary world in paint, where human figures are moving around; sometimes real people (dancers) and sometimes cut out paper figures.

Van Rees is a self-trained photographer who studied painting at the Academy of Visual Arts in Groningen, the Netherlands.

In 2007, van Rees published a photo book, “One Wall Away – Chicago’s Hidden Spaces,” commissioned by U.S. Equities in Chicago. He works as an art instructor for Central College of Iowa at the Study Abroad program in Leiden, Netherlands.

The artists worked together to create a site-specific installation for the Marion Gallery that features their common areas of interest – people interacting with their environment and the perception of space in relation to memory.

Kooter explained the process began with the creation of a scale model of the SUNY Fredonia site.

“We started putting small versions (of our works) on the walls of the model to see what would be best,” she said. “We made a lot of changes during that process.”

Both artists are pleased with the end result that is now on display.

“We hope that as the people wander through the gallery and look at the works they will be able to relate the different experiences and thoughts we have tried to capture,” van Rees said.

Xing Perspectives opened Sept. 6 and it continues through Oct. 13.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12 to 4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12 to 6 and Sunday 12 to 4 p.m. The gallery, which is located on the main level of the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center, is closed Mondays and during campus breaks.