Norfolk gallery hosts debut UK exhibition of renowned environmental artist

Herman De Vries exhibition On Stony Paths is on display at the GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn. Pict

Herman De Vries exhibition On Stony Paths is on display at the GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Stones from around the world, pebbles and soil samples feature in exhibition by Dutch artist Herman De Vries at the GroundWork Gallery in King's Lynn.

Herman De Vries exhibition On Stony Paths is on display at the GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn. Pict

Herman De Vries exhibition On Stony Paths is on display at the GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Submitted

A Norfolk gallery is hosting the first UK exhibition of the work of renowned Dutch environmental artist Herman De Vries.

Now aged 85, the artist is a grand figure in the world of art and environment, renowned for his sensitive attention to nature. His debut exhibition in this country, titled On Stony Paths, is currently on show at the GroundWork Gallery in King's Lynn.

It is an exhibition is all about stones and earth, presenting the artist's assemblages of the world's natural resources. Remarkably varied soil samples from the Seychelles Islands and the Jura Mountains become rubbed drawings, revealing the range of colours which are otherwise hidden beneath the undergrowth.

A framed lapidarium on the wall transforms what began as a seemingly random collection of the world's pebbles into a little display of wondrous order and variety.

Dutch environmental artist Herman De Vries is a grand figure in the world of art and environment, re

Dutch environmental artist Herman De Vries is a grand figure in the world of art and environment, renowned for his sensitive attention to nature. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant


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A floor installation of precisely cut stones from the Jura becomes a museum for a landscape which has since disappeared, lost to development.

From 1961-66, the artist was a member of the Nul Group — a cohort of artists that included Henk Peeters, Jan Schoonhoven, and Armando — with whom he produced wall reliefs, large-scale installations, and happenings that explored principles such as repetition and the beauty of everyday objects. Later on, his artworks became quasi-scientific. This led to such projects as the Earth Museum (1976), which contains over 7,000 samples of earth that the artist gathered from all over the world.

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In 2015 he was the artist representing the Netherlands in the national pavilion at the prestigious Venice Biennale. Since then he has exhibited in France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic and, alongside this UK show, 2017 also sees him exhibiting in Spain and Italy.

GroundWork gallery director Veronica Sekules said: 'I am pleased and proud that GroundWork is the first venue to show a comprehensive exhibition by Herman De Vries in the UK. It takes its place alongside what has become the gallery's signature work, Richard Long's Great Ouse Mud Drawing, which he made insitu for its opening in 2015.'

Herman De Vries exhibition On Stony Paths is on display at the GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn. Pict

Herman De Vries exhibition On Stony Paths is on display at the GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Submitted

The King's Lynn gallery, which specialises in artworks with environmental themes, also currently has displays of jewellery, featuring works about stones by Sibylle Eimermacher, a German artist from Arnhem in the Netherlands.

• Herman De Vries: On Stony Paths, GroundWork Gallery, Purfleet Street, King's Lynn, until July 1, Tues-Sat 11am-4pm, admission free, www.groundworkgallery.com

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