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Three Crossings: El-Salahi, Hammons, Brouwn

Museums/Institutes Prince Claus Fund

Herengracht 603
1017 CE Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 344 9160


Opening times Prince Claus Fund Gallery
Herengracht 603
On view: Ibrahim El-Salahi
Thu 23 Nov / 18-20 hrs
Fri 24 Nov / 10-20 hrs
Sat 25 + Sun 26 Nov / 12-18 hrs
Koninginneweg 176
On view: Stanley Brouwn
Wed 22 Nov / 18-20 hrs
Thu 23 – Sun 26 Nov / 12-18 hrs
De Waalse Kerk
Walenpleintje 157-159
On view: David Hammons
Sat 25 Nov / 9.30-11.30 hrs
Wed 22 & Fri 24 Nov / 11-16 hrs


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Ibrahim El-Salahi, By His Will, We Teach Birds How to Fly No. 4, 1969, pen, ink and wash on paper, 38 x 56 cm, 15 x 22 1/8 inches (V02571)

The Prince Claus Fund, together with the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) present ‘Three Crossings: El-Salahi, Hammons, Brouwn’. This three-part exhibition features works by Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudan, UK), David Hammons (USA), and Stanley Brouwn (Surinam, Netherlands) at three Amsterdam locations. The works by these three visionary artists are innovative, minimalist, and sharply critical, yet infused with wit and humour. The opening of Brouwn’s exhibition at EENWERK on 22 November, El-Salahi’s work at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery on 23 November, and Hammons’ work at De Waalse Kerk on 25 November are each part of Amsterdam Art Weekend.

The opening on Thursday 23 November at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery will be presented by ‘Three Crossings’ curator Salah M. Hassan.

All three artists share a destiny and an identity as diasporic subjects. They have crossed boundaries historically and existentially, and through their innovative artistic practice, they also enriched global contemporary art.

“What ultimately attracted me to the work of these artists is the ethical position these three artists represent in the face of a hyper art market and highly corporatised art scene. Throughout their careers, they remain faithful to their visions, as prolific and innovative in spite of the racialised capitalist structure of the art market.” – Salah M. Hassan, curator of ‘Three Crossings’

‘Three Crossings’

Conceived as multi-sited, this exhibition brings together works of three contemporary artists, the work of each installed in a different space in Amsterdam. The exhibition foregrounds each artist’s experimentation with the genre of the “artist’s book” yet also includes, in the cases of El Salahi and Brouwn, other relevant pieces that broaden our appreciation of their work.
The selected works are for the most part small in scale and minimalist in form, yet they speak volumes of the three artists’ criticality, sharpness and innovation, rarely matched among their contemporaries and peers.

Prince Claus Fund Gallery
Ibrahim El-Salahi - By His Will, We Teach Birds How to Fly: Ibrahim El-Salahi in Black and White
Featuring black and white works from El-Salahi, including ink and paper drawings from his ‘By His Will’ series, and the more recent, dramatic ‘The Arab Spring Notebook’.

About the artist
Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudan, 1930), a seminal figure in African and Arabic modernism and 2001 Prince Claus Laureate, combines African and Arabic traditions in new forms. A founding member of the influential Khartoum School movement in the 1960’s, El Salahi continued his studies in the UK and the USA and later served as Director of Culture for the Sudanese government. Following a period of incarceration when he was falsely accused of participating in a coup attempt, he went into exile in the UK. His works were featured in Tate Modern’s first retrospective on African Modernism in 2013. He has said that the black and white works in this exhibition are among his favourites.


De Waalse Kerk
David Hammons - The Holy Bible: Old Testament
Featuring The Holy Bible: The Old Testament, a performative work conceived as a limited edition of bound, golden- edged copy of Italian art historian Arturo Schwarz’s book The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp.

About the artist
David Hammons (USA, 1943) is one of the most important conceptual artists working today. In a career spanning over 50 years he has utilised a variety of media, often creating visual puns and including found objects to explore and comment on the realities of African-American life. Although he is considered one of the most influential American artists of the past half century, he avoids publicity, gives few interviews and sells his work from his studio rather than through gallery representation.


Stanley Brouwn - This Way Brouwn
Featuring This Way Brouwn, from an interactive conceptual series in which passersby created maps to give the artist directions, in addition to selected works that represent his overall oeuvre and interventions.

About the artist
Stanley Brouwn (Surinam 1935 – Amsterdam 2017) Starting in 1962 and until his passing in May 2017, Stanley Brouwn had consistently insisted that his biography and art work not to be printed or reproduced in any publication related to exhibitions of his work. The brochures for Brouwn’s retrospective at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and MACBA in Barcelona (2005-2006) specified that his work is mainly “about measurements and real distances, any image of his work could only be seen as a distortion.” Abiding by Brouwn’s wish, and honouring his legacy, we decided not to include Brouwn’s biography, and to include instead blank pages in the booklet accompanying his exhibition at EENWERK.

About the curator of ‘Three Crossings’
Salah M Hassan is an art historian, curator and an art critic based at Cornell University in the US, where he is Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute of Comparative Modernities, Professor at the Africana Studies and Research Center, and Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies. He was a member of the Prince Claus Awards Committee (2012 – 2015) and editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.

About the Prince Claus Fund and the AFK
The Prince Claus Fund’s mission is to actively seek cultural collaborations founded on equality and trust with partners of excellence in spaces where resources and opportunities for cultural expression and creative production are limited and cultural heritage is threatened. The Prince Claus Fund is based in Amsterdam and operates in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The Prince Claus Fund and the AFK have initiated a new collaboration in 2017 to present international art and extraordinary creators in Amsterdam. Through this partnership, the Prince Claus Fund and the AFK have the following goal: to create and stimulate mutual inspiration and co-creation in the city, and inspire new social-cultural ideas.

For more information on locations and opening hours, see left column



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