Garderning the Beauty of the Unwanted
A duo exhibition by Caroline Coolen & Luis Xertu
July 13 – August 26, 2024

Garderning the Beauty of the Unwanted

You are invited to the festive opening of the duo exhibition by Caroline Coolen & Luis Xertu.
Curated by Glenn Kessler

July 13 – August 26, 2024
3PM – 5PM
Mauritsweg 55B, Rotterdam

Looking forward seeing you on July 13!

NL=US Art Gallery


In today’s world, the rise of racism and hatred reflects a deep-seated fear of the unknown. Systems and individuals often decide who is excluded. Yet, within this environment, certain individuals on the fringes of society not only survive, but thrive, becoming beacons of creativity.

This space at the fringe, akin to a vibrant garden, symbolizes society where each element, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, mental health, economic status, or education level, adds value. Just as thistles endure harsh conditions, these resilient individuals celebrate a “live and let live” ethos, questioning what is deemed correct or incorrect.

While some adhere to restrictive beliefs out of ignorance, the garden metaphor reminds us that selective “weeding out” disrupts the entire ecosystem. Instead, this exhibition puts the focus on those who stand firm, illustrating that diversity enriches our collective existence and emphasizing that everyone belongs.

Belgian sculptor Caroline Coolen (1975, Bree) utilizes collage, montage, and assemblage to capture the essence of reality, drawing from nature, landscapes, and animals. Her work integrates diverse materials, creating installations that connect space and time, engaging both visual and tactile senses. A recurring symbol in her art is the thistle, representing resilience and the beauty of the fringe, challenging societal perceptions of worth and embracing the marginalized.

Luis Xertu’s (1985, Mexico City) work looks into themes of isolation and societal critique through the lens of nature and animals. He employs dramatic symbolism to explore feelings of conflict and impending disaster, offering nuanced reflections on human behavior, class dynamics, and environmental complexities.

The exhibition is an example of the gallery’s approach of finding collaborations between the artistic expression of different artists and finding a commen ground within their work.

Mauritsweg 55B
3012 JX, Rotterdam

Wed – Thu
Open by appointment

Fri – Sun
12 – 5 pm

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