The Dutch artist Thomas Raat (b. 1979) takes everyday elements and reconfigures them in an alternative reality. Raat focuses specifically on the formalism of daily life, which is confronted with the rules and assumptions that are linked to abstract and conceptual art. By transgressing the boundaries between autonomous and (decorative) everyday objects, he investigates the transformation of the status of the work of art based on its context and cultural or aesthetic reference. Raat views the world around him with a historic and sociological gaze, looking for images that consciously or unconsciously convey the grammar of an avant-garde past.
He simulates authentic-looking, modernist artefacts through a combination of cultural-historical quotes and an intensely formal use of materials. The artefacts are positioned on the turning point where the experiment turns to convention and vice versa; a synthesis of alienating irony and conceptual analysis in which concepts like originality and authenticity are confronted with imitation and pastiche or handiwork versus mass production.
Cliché – which consists of two monochrome paintings and the residue of a chair – was made especially for Hopstreet Window.
Thomas Raat (Leiderdorp, 1979) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (1997-2001), the Norwich School of Art and Design (2000), the Delfina Studio Program in London (2005-2006) and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (2011-2012).
Raat exhibits in The Netherlands and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Granola’ in Galerie Juliette Jongma (2017), ‘Standards’ in Onomatopee, Eindhoven (2016), ‘Archetypes and Residues’ in Schunk*, Heerlen (2015), ‘D.A.A’ in Dover Street Market, Beijing (China) (2015) and ‘2.II’ in ANDOR Gallery, London (UK) (2015).
Christophe Floré is the Creative Director at ALL YOURS. In addition, he has been organising exhibitions almost on a regular basis under the name SECONDroom since 2006. A characteristic feature of these exhibitions is that they only last three hours. This limited timeframe gives the exhibitions the impact of an event. SECONDroom has organised hundreds of exhibitions in Belgium and abroad, with works by Peter Downbrough, Walter Swennen, Nikolas lamas, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, etc.