HUGO KAAGMAN  STENCIL KING
Exposition in West-Indisch Huis, Amsterdam; Grey Art Gallery, New York; Cultural Center, Chicago; Malnychenko Gallery, Winnipeg, 1993.
NetherArt A Dutch Response to the Nineties
New Yorker  Galleries Downtown, 5 may 1993 "NETHER ART" In the past few decades, no capitalistic nation has seemed to value its artists more than the Dutch, who have paid them simply to be artists. As it turns out, the system hasn't produced much good art, and has now been partially dismantled. This show, which introduces a new generation of Dutch artists, makes it clear that today Holland is a lively, spirited scene. Unfortunately, the art still isn't very good. These artists are very conscious of their formidable art- historical and craft traditions- there are selfportraits after rembrandt and frequent references to Vermeer and de hooch- and seem oppressesd by them. The best works are the least ambitious ones. The paintings by the former graffitist Hugo Kaagman, done in the blue-and-white style of delftware, are particularly good. In form, he surrenders to history completely, but his imagery (hypermodernic needles, buases, planes and modern buildings) is unmistakably contemporary. Through May 15. (Greyart gallery, New York University, 33 Washington Pl.)                      
Winnipeg Free Press, saturday, November 1993 Folksy romanticism subverted Dutch artists take witty look at their land    THIS SHOW of 11 artists from the Netherlands, presented at the Melnychenko  Gallery as part of the Dutch Canadian Centenary celebrations, is clever and funny, although ultimately a bit cool.   The keynote is set by the witty work of. Hugo Kaagman, who started as a graffiti artist but has since moved indoors. He plays around. with the motif of "Delftware," that characteristically Dutch blue-and-white tile. Using repeating square canvases and stencilled decorative motifs, he calls up a solid bourgeois past, with references to a nostalgic "picture:-postcard" vision of Holland -gabled houses, windmills, skaters, canals. He subverts this folksy romanticism with short shocks of contemporary complexities - faceless tower blocks, industrial waste, pornography, a travelling methadone treatment bus (Methadone Bus,1991). Art Review Netherart By Alison Gillmor   Free Press Correspondent