Fighting for the arts, 1987
1987: 'Verlags Buchhandlung Sautter+Lackmann, Hamburg' publishes "IM KAMPF UM DIE KUNST' (Fighting for Art) by Ron Manheim. "Die Diskussion von 1911 über zeitgenossische Kunst in Deutschland" (The discussion on contemporary art for 1911).
1987: (spring, exact date unknown) exhibition: CLOPPENBURG, Modern Art Archive, West Berlin. NOTE: On invitation of critic Martin Ballot. MB had visited the Archive in Amsterdam the previous year and studied the pastel drawings. Kloppenburg travels to Berlin, 114 Osloërstrasse, with a roll of pastel drawings. Photo sequences in DDR transit zone. K himself has spelled his name with a C on the poster: CLOPPENBURG. At the same time Bien is in Tasmania, shares the bed with Frieda Beukenkamp, zaps channels on satellite TV and suddenly comes across a program with dozens of Kloppenburg pastel drawings used as intermezzo images. He phones Kloppenburg in Düsseldorf, who is unaware of the TV broadcast, but does know that a pastel drawing has been stolen in Berlin.
The BKR, Visual Artist's Arrangement, is cancelled.
NOTE: In the 17 years that Kloppenburg made use of this arrangement he created approximately 60 constructivist artworks acquired by the government within its framework. At present some of those have become part of public collections, housed in government buildings (e.g. the Ministry of Justice), the Holland Collection and museums. The survival of all the other works is uncertain. F.I.U. research concerning these BKR works is hampered by the impossibility of tracing the location of the BKR archive and its photo registration of acquired artworks (2004, November). The Municipal Archive of Amsterdam contains only the economical reports of the acquisitions, without mentioning acquired artworks.
1987, February: Exhibition of the American artist VIRGIL GROTFELDT, Houston TX, in Gallery d'Theeboom, Amsterdam, where Bien and K have also exhibited. Beginning of personal acquaintance, friendship, co-production and interdisciplinary research within the F.I.U. framework. Full information on this in the following F.I.U. Amsterdam publications; Waldo Bien, by Patrick Healy, Wienand Verlag, Köln 2000, and: Virgil Grotfeldt, by Patrick Healy, Wienand Verlag, Köln 2003. Grotfeldt's acquaintance with the work of Kloppenburg and his ARTCHIVE FOR THE FUTURE results in first reports of it to Walter Hopps, Founding Director of The Menil in Houston, Texas.
1987, 2nd of February - 8th of March: Solo exhibition in Rotterdam Artspace; "THE WRITING TYPE FLYER" (invitation with portrait of his deceased mother, laid out): "for Agatha". The exhibition consists of a group of pastels and A4 size drawings, a worktable with objects and two chairs from The Archive. The title of the exhibition is derived from an object from The Archive;... an old typewriter with two roof tiles on top of it, like bee's wings. It is one of the typewriters from the old home, on which the letters and bills were written and on which he often worked playfully. As such, typewriter "drawings" and "soundtextlines" emerge, in which he frees the fixed mechanics of the typewriter and allows the letters and numbers to fly and dance across the paper in a new cosmological context. (FIUWAC 164-2000). He plays the keyboard like a pianist (Glenn Gould). What has been "soundwordedtypedrawn" should not only be viewed and read but especially heard and listened to.
"K", press release for the exhibition by Waldo Bien, with first public description of the Artchive for the Future and K's working method;... "Since 25 years K has been working incognito on the ARTCHIVE FOR THE FUTURE. Who enters it will desperately search for the order that is so characteristic for an archive. The whole gives the impression of an ill-assorted collection of luggage for the coming migration of a nation. Stacks and heaps that seem to be waste give an impression which fails every social definition. But this chaos is misleading; Behind the symptom hides a carefully assembled whole, in which K registers even the smallest change immediately, as if it were his own body."...
1987, September: Article in JONAS magazine, theme "The Spiritual in Art", by Petra Weeda, with picture of K on cover, featuring Rothko, Mondriaan, Newman, Klee, Kandinsky and others. Title: The work of Jacobus Kloppenburg; "In Tarkovsky's movie Stalker, three men embark on an excursion to a remarkable, restricted area subjected to an obscure danger. This "no man's land", where there is not a living creature to be found, is at first sight dominated by a luxuriant green vegetation, until ruins of buildings show up in the landscape. The green surroundings then make place for shallow motionless water surfaces, occasionally disturbed by a falling drop only. At the bottom of the crystal clear pools objects can be discerned; pieces of plastic, syringes, revolvers, corpses. Frozen leftovers from a civilisation that seems long gone but is still ours. It is through the intervention of the water surface that these things are alienated, and the distance to them becomes insuperably great. A similar sensation, of objects taken out of their context and therefore alienating, came over me when confronted with Kloppenburg's atelier, but mirrored; here the sunken world of objects has come to the surface and its reality is rendered unavoidable yet just as alienating." ...K is a master in the maintaining of contradictions... His susceptibility to two worlds, expressed by his "exercises with an undirected hand" and his geometrical drawings, with which he provides himself with rational insight. His optimism ("those gloomy medieval images of Dante are far removed from me".) …"[my]...experiments must have a social meaning, otherwise one would only be involved in some individual mythology. One should develop a kind of writing that is legible for everyone, as Beuys has done. But this does not mean there is a norm for such a thing. If it would seem as if there is, it is the task of the artist to break through that expectation immediately…
1987, September - 11th of October: Gallery De Wiemelink, Doetinchem (pastels, drawings, Volkswagen doors and windows and objects). Press: Georg Schlimme van Brunswijk; "Who intends to be an artist these days does not face an easy task. He has to react to the past with a new mentality, and, to that end search for a free and undogmatic expression of inner experiences, which has to articulate both the concealed, lyrical and mysterious experience of nature, and the fantastic catastrophe of the technical world and the grinning fears which the modern drama of life produces. Not to speak of the geometrical structures, the twirling bodies and light figures, that evoke associations with experiences between Eros and death. What can a creative artist do with the unconscious perceptions calling through meditation from the sunken stock of the unconsciousness for a place in the tissue of forms and colours available to him on the surface of line or paper, in order to give a mature response that appeals to the spectator? The material he has at his disposal for this purpose; paint, brushes or a pencil, in its banal worldliness seems to be miles removed from what appears to the painter and draughtsman during his best moments from the field of cosmic revelations of a world of shapes with ghostly dramatic contrasts... Those who have been willing to follow me this far I would like to recommend to go and see the work of the Amsterdam painter Jacobus Kloppenburg in De Wiemelink. They are fantastic compositions in pastel on sheets of brown wrapping paper... in brief, here one is shown a bizarre but meaningful population from a fantastic Arc." (article with photo of pastel; newspaper and date not (yet) identified)
1987, 9th of October - 14th of November: solo exhibition, The Becker Building, Philadelphia, USA, as part of a "homage to Marcel Duchamp" with a few dozen pastel drawings and objects. At the AC). Lebe makes several photographic portraits of this meeting. In Philadelphia K collects the bookkeeping documents of a bankrupted restaurant and creates the work AMERIKA from it (FIUWAC). On the way back, a working visit is paid to Iceland. FlU meeting with Thomas and Totta Johnsson in Reykjavik, and landscape research. (F.I.U.archive)
1987, December: Article in ELSEVIER, volume 43, no.49, by Anne Claire Vogtschmidt; "I believe I am somewhat difficult socially." Two pages with two pictures and a special screen print offer for collectors. ..."With a sensational and well received exhibition in Museum Fodor in 1985, K joined a small group of artists who developed a complete style of their own, away from current fashions." ...K himself; "I've always been very close with the children. An unbelievable experience... It was all so uninhibited and vivacious, what they would draw as well. I got stuck with my work a bit, for I thought I could make geometry more flexible, but I lacked the necessary freedom. I felt the need for something more individual, a creativity less restrained. This was what the children were doing. I entered a sort of crisis and started all over, in their way. I just started to scratch lines, as a sort of self-release and orientation, very thoroughly, without any preparations. I still have those things, and indeed there is nothing on them."
1987, December: Magazine CODE. Full page advertisement with a paleo-photo of B and K in front of the entrance of the marl cave; TO OUR INVESTORS (to explain our principles for 1988), Waldo Bien, Jacobus Kloppenburg. NOTE: The same picture will play a role in the discussion concerning the dubious restoration of two important artworks in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam some years later: the Barnett Newman painting, "Who is Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue" and the Beuys object "Pappschachtel mit Fettecke", and the public discussion concerning the ethics of restoration in general (See; Waldo Bien by P. Healy, Wienand Verlag Köln, 2000, which gives a full report about the affair).
Dec 1987 - Jan 1988: Solo exhibition in De Vaart, Hilversum NL (opening by Wouter Welling, art critic. Curator; J.A. Berkhof. Catalogue with text by Berkhof, cover with picture of K with tap. K: "In school we had to run circles in the gymnasium. The sun would shine through the window and when I walked in the ray of light, I would stretch my hand towards the sun. The teacher tapped his stick on the ground and made me stand in the corner as a punishment. When I was 16, I abolished drawing. It didn't work out. When I looked at one of those almond branches of Van Gogh, I couldn't believe my eyes. I went there as much as 50 times, so perfect ... my character is full of contrasts, from very fluid to the exactness of a neurotic Swiss watchmaker. I work with watercolours, but also with millimetre paper ... I work during the night, balancing on the edge of sleep. The idea is to work ahead of yourself as it were. Even though you are normally slow in your reactions, suddenly you are surprised you can react so faultlessly and quickly. Sometimes the possibilities that offer themselves are much too fast. I can never work on one thing for very long, because I would get behind on developing my ideas. That is why a drawing is so beautiful, you can immediately record it. Reason then only watches from of the background, it offers direction but is not contemplative."
1987, December 30th: article in GOOI AND EEMLANDER, Red.; "DE VAART ALS LUSTHOF" (The Canal as Pleasure-Garden); ..."the curious oeuvre of an artist both remarkable and colourful. His stove is being stoked with trash and wreckage that he also uses to frame his paintings. With a loving gesture he now and then caresses one of those do-it-yourself frames, which charms by its structure and tone. The life sphere of his house in the Jordaan is transferred to Hilversum. Across the ceiling a bald pine trunk with car windows for stabilisers flies like a rocket. In the middle of the front room a hairy pedestal is crowned with the wreck of a typewriter K decorated with two roof tiles for wings. In the window sill he placed side-windows from the old VW scrap-yard, which he paints. He rescued cast-off chairs from the dump and fire and transforms them into sculptures. That the painter is capable of joking is shown in his illustrations of the golden section - a breadknife in a white loaf of bread… a revelation."
Invitation card for Rotterdam Art Space exhibit, with the Flying Type Writer, 1987