Work, Value, Reality

The artist Thomas Raat (b. Leiderdorp, Netherlands, 1979; lives and works in Amsterdam) studies how value is attached to certain materials, practices, and pictorial strategies. In paintings, sculptures, and design-adjacent practices, the Dutchman brings an archaeologist’s perspective to bear on the question of how visual grammars can be perpetuated, revised, and manipulated over time. Skeptical of the possibility of creating an entirely new work of art, Raat revisits the classics of modernism. His output raises questions concerning the interpretation of a work of art: what motivates artists to make a work, and how does the audience respond to it? The tension between these two poles brings art into being, endows it with significance, lets it win fame—but it is also what can prompt shifts of meaning, resulting, even, in an utter negation of what a work once was.

The monograph Dynasty presents a selection from Raat’s output of the past ten years. With essays by Hans den Hartog Jager, Nick Hackworth and Robert van Altena.
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