°1979, Leiderdorp (NL)
Dutch artist Thomas Raat’s work is playful and highly critical, often using estab-lished works of art as starting points for his modification and regeneration. In his current exhibition ‘MUMU: Malice and Misunderstanding’ at SPACE, his thoughtful re-assessment of well known works by Barnett Newman, Mondrian and de Kooning/Rauschenberg reviews these works as symbols of Modernism heavy with years of critical thought bearing upon them. Here Raat discusses the exhibition and its distinctive feature as having been made on-site and with an implicit expectation of its viewers in the particular viewing space.
Sceptical about the possibility of creating a new work of art, Raat draws on art history for his works. The artist is the one who can manipulate the meaning of images from the past and at best give them new life. Raat’s works ask questions about the interpretation of a work of art: what motivations an artist has to make a work of art and how the public receives that work of art. This field of tension in which works are created, given meaning, become famous, change meaning or even are destroyed is his terrain.