Smudgen gathers the work of three artists that finds each other in their desire to work in crafty manner, who like to get their hands dirty, and who, in their practice, distort and question our perception of (visual) reality instead of working from existing frameworks. The title of the exhibition comically refers to the ‘smudgy’ practice of the artists and their attitude towards making art.
The paintings of Janine van Oene move between abstraction and figuration. Seemingly recognisable shapes prove to be fragmented, more complex, or more vague at closer inspection. Strange forms suddenly turn into irreversibly recognisable images. Van Oene plays with our perception in a way that distorts our sense of what is real and what is artificial. In her recent works she follows her fascination for the way in which supposed natural elements appears as artificial decoration in the domestic environment. By engaging with the balance between the figurative and the abstract, both a recognisable visual language and an abstract sensibility appear: her paintings are both image, set of references, and pure paint on canvas all together.
Not unlike the way in which Van Oene distorts our conception of ‘reality’, Pim Blokker’s paintings emerge from an interplay between humour and earnestness. This interplay, in which humorous situations are presented in all their lightness against a backdrop of tragedy, allows Blokker to dissect heavy subjects in a playful way, and to offer an escape from the weight of reality through human emotions.
While Van Oene makes avid use of visual sources of inspiration that she mystifies to blur definite concepts of reality, and while Blokker opens up a mental space (of thinking) by fusing hilarity and tragic fact, the sculptures of Tim Mathijsen follow an investigate attitude towards the physical reality of sculpture and ornamental shapes. The tangible, visible reality, in the shape of public sculptures, random, and everyday objects and shapes, is used by Mathijsen as an infinite source of references. Mathijsen makes moulds, copies, lends, and reconsiders. By remaking recognisable shapes, and by reproducing them in a heavily sculpted manner, he creates installations that investigate their own sculptural and ornamental appearance, while questioning the authenticity and desired shapes of the objects that served as their source material.
Janine van Oene (1988, NL) lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2014 she graduated from the HKU University of Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and was resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 2014 to 2016. In 2017 Van Oene was selected for the Prospects & Concepts of the Mondriaan Fund, and was awarded the Dutch Royal Prize for Modern Painting. The work of Van Oene is at home in various collections, such as De Nederlandsche Bank, KMPG, and ING Art Collection, among many others.
Pim Blokker (1974, NL) lives and works in Amsterdam. Blokker graduated from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in the Hague, and was resident at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 Blokker was awarded the Scheffer Award from the Dordrechts Museum. Work by Blokker has been shown at many exhibitions throughout Europe, and during solo-exhibitions at the Dordrechts Museum, Kunstraum Düsseldorf and Edel Assanti, London, among others.
Tim Mathijsen (1987, NL) lives and works in Amsterdam. Here he graduated from the Rietveld Academy in 2012, and was resident at De Ateliers from 2014 to 2016. After his residency at De Ateliers his work was exhibited at Dordtyart, Dordrecht, Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, and during Prospects & Concepts at Art Rotterdam 2018, among other places. Previously, Mathijsen exhibited at PuntWG and W139, both in Amsterdam, and wrote for the symposium ‘Educating Artists’ at KW, Berlin. In June 2019, Mathijsen will become resident at WIELS, Brussels.
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