Rademakers Gallery presents the solo exhibition of the young female artist Florentijn de Boer. She shows a series of new, evocative paintings viewed from tilted perspectives that refer to utopian paradises and mystical landscapes full of amorphous creatures, plants and animals. In addition, there are sculptural installations by Nadja Schlenker and textile works by Mae Engelgeer and Jan Koen Lomans.
With great imagination, artist Florentijn de Boer invites the viewer to enter a utopian paradise, a mystical landscape, a spatial forest in which fiction takes over from reality. Her new paintings, full of strange amorphous creatures, plants, flowers, animals and birds, are her most personal work to date. They are intimate, more intuitively painted, perhaps more sincere canvases in softer colors, inspired by looking at the world from her newborn son's point of view. With that tilted gaze and with a newfound wonder, she takes in the environment deeply: the beauty of bloom and withering, the transformation and transience of nature.
Each work is a frozen moment in a layered story that continues to develop.The painting entitled Stillpoint marks a transition period in her life in which she must combine motherhood with her career as an artist. She refers to the Garden of Eden in which Eve is supposed to be content with what is, but she wants to bring change and movement to the status quo. In that way, plucking the fruit from the tree can be seen as an act of courage. Eve must cut her way through the stifling ruling authority, order and hierarchy. That also applies to De Boer: courage is needed to set things in motion and to find a balance between wanting to be with her child and painting in the studio. In exchange for her absence and out of a close bond with her son Riffe, she promised herself to make the most beautiful works.
Window on an illusionary world
For the painting Sphere As A Pedestal, the artist also stores all the flowers and plants she observes in her head and takes copies to her studio. Here she carefully composes her own layered paradise from a collage of drawings, paintings, murals and spatialized forms of papier-mâché derived from her paintings.
The amorphous fragments together form a spatial fairy tale in which all creatures, animals and plants flow into each other organically. De Boer plays with movement and spatial and depth effects by creating layered views of a fantastic landscape; it opens a window on another illusionary world, a self-contained, changing universe. Using different types of paint, sidewalk chalk, dry pastels and the oil pastels she often uses, which she applies to the canvas by hand. The colorful paintings invite you to observe and experience her world in an unconventional way from different points of view. In this way the fantastic paradise grows outside the frame of the canvas over the floor, the walls and even the sky as a three-dimensional playground for children and adults.
Nadja Schlenker has a great interest in cities and architecture, especially in relation to people. She works at the intersection of architecture, spatiality and art. After showing an installation with tactile ceramic and stone-like paper objects last year, she now presents Fragmented Vases, a series of unique sculptural, purely ceramic objects that vary in shape. She took previously used molds that she reused in a new, playful way by using clay as a pressing mould. By experimenting with the repetition of shapes from one mold and combining them into collages in a different way, the resulting series of ceramic sculptures seem to be distorted and grow in all directions.
The architectural wall objects called City Patterns are inspired by the cities where she lived: Rome, Beirut, Bangkok, Berlin and Amsterdam, places that form collages in which social, political and historical aspects come together. She observes, investigates, zooms in with her camera and records elements and city patterns that are remarkable to her, details that residents rarely notice. From this personal perspective, Schlenker brings out the hidden layers behind the buildings, which also contain the stories of the residents, and translates this into unique ceramic architectural objects.
Jan Koen Lomans
Studio JKL celebrates its fifteenth birthday, a period in which textiles often play the leading role. Artist Jan Koen Lomans has preserved research samples of all his wall works and installations, such as his tapestries from the Nocturne series, a dream landscape of abstracted withering flowers whose contours loom up in the deep blue light of the night. The artist sent 30 kilograms of samples to the University of Wales, with whom he often collaborates. He asked masters and second- year students to create new works with it.
The surprising result can now be seen in Rademakers Gallery: in the extraordinary wall works, the students are undeniably influenced by the Welsh landscape, but they have not denied Lomans' handwriting and fascination, such as the mystery and beauty of the cosmos, natural phenomena and different stages between life and death. For example, Dirwedd (landscape in Welsh), resembles a both rough and poetic landscape in which the students have opened strips of textile and pulled out the stitching and the gold thread. In Dirwedd 1 and 2, the seamy side of the samples is used, so that the fringes create a landscape full of movement in which the wind seems to blow fiercely through the grass. With this they expose the layers of Loman's works and create completely new compositions. All textiles have been reused, except for the label on the back of the wall hangings.
Together with Pien Rademakers, Mae Engelgeer produced the Pink Honore collection, which includes a round-shaped coffee table in an edition of 21 and a unique eye-catcher: The Showroom is an elegant S-shaped room divider inspired by Japanese fans. This chic work consists of slats of shiny flamed pink and silver marbled Hi-macs (made of natural minerals and acrylic) placed within the frame. The designer also shows the matching Onyx Cloud made from residual material from natural stone manufacturer Solid Nature. The incense holder - in a special edition of 50 pieces - consists of two matching round discs in a 'sky colour&', where the cloud of smoke provides a poetic effect.
In addition to the signature interior designs with rounded shapes, Engelgeer shows what she has become known for: tactile and ingenious architectural wall hangings with complex, layered compositions. For this she uses high-contrast materials, subtle color combinations and graphic patterns, as can be seen in the Rainbow panels or the Dazzling Blue Class panels. In this way Mae Engelgeer plays with colours, patterns, shapes and structures that together form the ingredients for a meditative, zen-like Japanese interior.