The relationship between man, culture and nature is increasingly becoming a subject of (artistic) research within the visual arts - a theme on which de vries has been working for decades. For more than 60 years now he has been developing a highly versatile oeuvre in which art, science and philosophy are confronted with the world’s, and especially nature's reality. The theme of his work is topical in an age in which ecological issues can count on an ever broadening attention from the general public.
de vries’ recent work dominates his presentation in Venice, as it does in the book to be all ways to be. The book’s guideline is a dialogue between de vries and Jean-Hubert Martin about the works on show in Venice. Martin confronts de vries with key concepts such as synesthesis, mimesis, craftmanship, sound and music, smell, nature and ecology, et cetera, and interweaves the works and thoughts of de vries, with images, texts and other sources throughout his text.
The book herman de vries - to be all ways to be will be a parallel world to the Venice exhibition, showing the works intimately, making connections and providing a historical, art historical and philosophical context to the readers/beholders so they may discover and open up the world of de vries.