‘The Space Between’ is Casper Faassen’s first solo exhibition at Bildhalle Amsterdam and can be seen from 16 March onwards. After a successful presentation at Bildhalle Zurich and a number of major art fairs including Photo London and Art Rotterdam 2023, Bildhalle is consolidating their collaboration with the presentation of works that Faassen made especially for this exhibition. The exhibition offers the opportunity to discover the full width of Faassen’s work: dancers and his research into the male nude, landscapes and still lives. Bildhalle has chosen to present various recurring themes in Faassen’s work-transience, negative space and 'ReCollection' – with the stillness of life running through each work as a common thread.

The festive opening of the exhibition will take place on March 16 at Willemsparkweg 134 from 18:00 – 21:00h – the artist will be present.

Negative space – The title of the exhibition ‘The Space Between’ refers to a number of important aspects in Casper Faassen’s work. It refers to the distance he maintains from his subject, to the layers in his work and the space between those layers that determines what becomes visible. Faassen finds inspiration in the Japanese concept of ma, which is understood as negative space or an emptiness in space. But it’s not just emptiness; ma is also the distance between two dancers in a duet, the space between two works or the silence that falls just before someone starts to speak. For Faassen, the magic lies precisely in that emptiness and those pauses. By exploring the negative space ever more deeply, a hyper-focus arises on certain aspects of life and of the work of art. It’s like closing off certain senses, making your other senses much more triggered.

Transcience – One of the recurring themes in Faassen’s earlier work is vanitas, the melancholy realization that time passes and everything is transient, common in 17th-century Dutch painting. But when Faassen discovered the Japanese concept of mono no aware, he found a version of vanitas that he could relate to better: “I think it’s great that the Japanese mono no aware recognizes that time flies, but that we do that with a light melancholic feeling and being more aware of the moment.” There is an appreciation for the beauty of impermanence. Faassen also refers to the passage of time by means of craquelure, golden fracture lines on the surface of his mist-shrouded figures. Transience contrasted with beauty. It is reminiscent of the Japanese kintsugi, where the fracture lines of broken porcelain are glued with gold. The philosophy behind this is that we should cherish and revere our imperfections and transience.

‘ReCollection’ – Also on display in the exhibition at Bildhalle Amsterdam are works from Faassen’s ‘ReCollection’ series. For this series he photographs and processes special objects and ‘recollects’ them in his own way. Recollection, but also memory are the common thread in these works. “I value objects,” says Faassen. “I try to explain that to myself. What is his passion for collecting? If I have molded them into my visual language, if I made them part of my collection. Then, strangely enough, the desire is also partly curbed.” At the end of 2022, a work by Faassen from the ReCollection series, a recollected Japanese vase from the collection of the SieboldHuis in Leiden, was added to the collection by the museum. In his working process with models, Faassen tries to create a certain distance between himself and his subject after the shoot, so that human emotion fades – here too he seeks out ‘the space between’. It is necessary to let the sense of togetherness and the personal details of the meeting sink into the memory, so that only the suggestion of the moment remains.Then Faassen succeeds in getting as close as possible to a universal image of beauty, as close as possible to a pure, sacred experience.