Capturing the zeitgeist in 8 artworks
Jeannette ten Kate
17 April 2020
Anyone familiar with the contemporary art world knows Jeannette ten Kate. At any major art fair, you will see her in action with a group of dedicated followers. Relying on her knowledge and experience, there is a good chance that she’ll succeed in motivating one of them to purchase an artwork, as the confluence of art and commerce is were Jeannette's talent and passion come into full play. She studied art history, did an internship at Sotheby's, worked at her then-husband Jan Pieter Glerum’s auction house for eleven years and subsequently started her own business guiding art buyers and lovers through the art market. In addition to being an art advisor to individuals and companies, Jeannette is the owner of The Art Connector and director of The Arts Club and The International Arts Club.
Good art challenges one and inspires reflection. For me, this doesn't have to be just the actual artwork, but it also includes the creative process preceding it. A surprising answer to the zeitgeist can be an important part of this. But we can also turn this logic around. Depending on the times we live in, artworks can acquire a different meaning for the viewer. So the meaning does not always have to be unambiguous. It is special - especially in this bizarre period - to see which artworks best reflect the current zeitgeist for you.
Here are the works I have selected.
And then there is the artist who comments and questions current times in his own creative way. We know Berend Strik (1960) mainly from his stitched photos. By adding threads and patches, he makes the representation in the photo his own. His drawings are less known. He makes powerful statements in A4 format in coloured pencil and chalk. A kind of contemporary aphorism in text and image. But they can be explained in many ways, as the artist's underlying idea is not forced on you. These drawings challenge you, are sometimes cynical, but are also happy because of the ever-present dose of humour.