Dwellers on the threshold

Bart Lunenburg

Jan 19 – March 2, 2023
Festive Opening on Fri. 19 January, 17-21 hrs

Part of the Gallery Opening Weekend 19—20 January 2024.

Organised in collaboration with Amsterdam Art.

Dwellers on the Threshold is a solo exhibition of Bart Lunenburg, opening at Galerie Caroline O’Breen on 19 January 2024. In this presentation, Lunenburg explores the windows, doors, roofs, and walls of historical rural architecture. Through sculptures, photographs, and drawings, he delves into themes of power and superstition that linger in the shadows of these architectural elements. His inspiration stems from Anglo-Saxon and Viking farmhouses, with a focus on the transition between interior space and the outside world.

In the series of wall sculptures ‘Warding Window’ (2023), Lunenburg explores the design and characteristics of window shutters found in the Eastern part of The Netherlands. Their colours and compositions referred to the heraldic weapons of the local landowners and served as a symbol of feudal ownership. Lunenburg deconstructed historic shutter designs and rearranged them into new rhythmic compositions, a similar method to making a quilt or a patchwork. The artist discovered that once the farmhouse owner changed — due to marriage, war, or succession — the window shutters were painted over with new colours and designs.

The reliefs from ‘Warding Window’ are installed perpendicular to the wall, revealing both the front and back of the work. This setup creates a speculative field implying new forms of possession, inviting contemplation on the relativity of power, where windows and shutters bear witness to an ongoing struggle for possession.

Bart Lunenburg, Donder no. 1 from the series Geest, 2023. 62 x 45 x 1 cm | Oiled ash, oak, walnut | Unique

For the series of wooden sculptures ‘Geest’ (2023), Lunenburg takes inspiration from historical timber construction techniques (‘vakwerkbouw’). The woven membrane of these houses is full of incantations and signs, such as the ‘donderbezem’, intended to protect residents against storms or lightning strikes, diseases, spirits like ‘the Witte Wieven’ and other ghost-like beings. In ’Geest’, Lunenburg plays with the woven quality of this architecture and prompts questions about the tension between protection and exclusion conveyed by these folk symbols. Alongside these new series, Lunenburg presents recent photographic works that derive from his research into historical Scandinavian timber constructions. 

Work from the presented series by Bart Lunenburg premiered in 2023 at Kunstenlab, Deventer, in the exhibition ‘Hoeders van het Land’ curated by Lieneke Hulshof. An in-depth interview with Bart Lunenburg was recently featured in the Nooit meer slapen podcast. Additionally, an article in De Groene Amsterdammer and Lunenburg’s own essay Wakers op de drempel on Mister Motley also delve into this project.

Recent presentations of Bart Lunenburg include a.o. Kunstenlab (Deventer, NL), Atelier NŌUA (Bodø, Norway), Enter Art Fair (Copenhagen, Denmark), Ravnikar Gallery Space (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Benaki Museum (Athens, Greece), Brummelkamp Galerie AMC (Amsterdam, NL), Woonhuis, De Ateliers (Amsterdam, NL), De Vishal (Haarlem, NL), Art Island (IJmuiden, NL), Kunsthal KAdE (Amersfoort, NL), Buitenplaats Doornburgh (Maarssen, NL), Museum Catharijneconvent (Utrecht, NL), Art Rotterdam (Rotterdam, NL) FOTODOK (Utrecht, NL), Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Utrecht, NL), P/////AKT (Amsterdam, NL), BPD Cultuurfonds (Amsterdam, NL). His work is in the collections at a.o. AMC, BPD, The Ekard Collection, Collection Reyn van der Lugt, Stichting StrandLinks and various private collections.

Bart Lunenburg, from the series Warding Window, 2023. Installation view at Kunstelab, Deventer