Art Exhibition/Review: Daniel Lemmer’s “Huil niet”


Daniel Lemmer’s “Huil niet” [Don’t Cry] opens today, March 29, 2019, at 7:00pm (doors open 6:45pm) at Sukru Oso (located at Cornelis Jongbaw Street 16a) in Paramaribo, Suriname. Here is an excerpt of a review by Rob Perrée (Sranan Art Xposed and

[. . .] One is struck first by the absence of reality, unusual in a country where the depiction of reality still reigns supreme in art. Very occasionally recognizably human figures are the subject, for example in a restrained work where a woman has her back turned to the viewer, in most works people, plants and animals are reduced to shapes which form part of a larger, literally fantastic whole, of a refined, fascinating composition. These shapes are often round or rounded off. It is not unusual for there to be holes in them. Sometimes the artist hangs something on them, giving the shape the function of an actual object – a swing for example – without looking like one. Sometimes they stand on legs as if they could walk. Sometimes a flower hangs on or underneath them. Sometimes shapes look like sorts of tentacled fish.

In many paintings, Daniel Lemmer chooses a simple, almost monotone background. This brings out the best of the other colors, the combinations of colors, the gradations of colors, the interplay between colors. The static background also seems to accentuate the liveliness of the shapes.

What is particularly noticeable is that Lemmer’s works can easily be placed in an international context. It is as if Dali, Miró, but also Rodchenko and Lissitzky have crossed over to Suriname. Surrealism and Constructivism have miraculously met up inside the imaginary world of a born and bred Surinamese man. Fraternization such as this seldom occurs in art in Suriname. Remy Jungerman‘s move to Modernism from for example De Stijl, could in his case be seen as comparable.

[. . .] I recently saw a number of Daniel Lemmer‘s YouTube videos. Surprising, I didn’t know he made them. Like scenes from an absurdist Samuel Beckett play. Beautifully stark, minimalistically filmed so that the mysterious drama of the deliberately unrecognizable main character can demand all the attention. Although these are short films, obeying the ‘rules’ of the medium, in my view they can be seen as an extension of his other work. They are just as surrealist, just as refined and effectively designed. [. . .]

Text by Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, March 2019.

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of His website:

For complete review, see

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