Thin frames cast lined shadows on the white wall, colourful geometric forms seem to want to break out of their context and parts of inflatable boats and air mattresses carry your thoughts to the coolness of water. The abstract works of Loes Koomen, Jan Willem Deiman and Tim Wunderink waft through the gallery like a summer breeze.
Precisely formed shapes close each other in, travel inquisitively across the surface, or reach out to a nearby canvas. Even without knowing the exact story behind them, the paintings of Loes Koomen arouse a universal feeling of recognition. Freedom and resilience lie at the foundation of her work. ‘The abstract language of form I have developed is my way of getting that across.’ If you follow the forms on the surface of the canvas, you will notice a subtle stratification. When you look at the paintings from close by, you discover that they are not as precise and graphic as when seen from a distance, but have a distinct character of their own. In contrast to the balanced composition, the surface of the paint is rough, appealing to human imperfection. The tension this causes challenges you to look further and let the geometric forms come alive and move.
Jan Willem Deiman’s metal frames hang on the wall like three-dimensional drawings. These wall sculptures are based on the characters of the Phoenician script: ‘One of the first scripts that did not consist of figurative characters, but was based on the sounds of a human language: the birth of abstraction in writing. The systems that we humans invent in order to understand the world are the starting point of my work.’ Despite his fascination for language, the meaning of the characters does not play a role for Deiman. ‘What interests me is the visualized musicality. Within certain rules that I set for myself, such as the colour, which refers to ink or blueprints, and the fixed proportions of the framework, I take the liberty of playing with the forms of a particular sound.’ The enigmatic title of the series, borrowed from a declaration by Noam Chomsky, refers to the evolution of language. ‘It’s more like a snowflake, which is immediately a perfect form, than a giraffe’s neck, which evolved throughout the years into the shape it has now,’ says Deiman. It underscores the stratification of his minimalist visual idiom, which is preceded by lengthy research and a skilled construction process.
Likewise seemingly simple but balanced is the work of Tim Wunderink, in which materials from home improvement or second-hand stores play the main role. ‘Hardly any paint comes into play in my work, but it does refer strongly to painting. My search for a composition, the distribution of form and colour, is like that of a painter’s.’ Underlying his use of materials is a fascination for construction sites. ‘In the interior of a building on such a site, you can see the layers between the ceiling and the floor. I look in a similar manner at a leaky old air mattress, for example. What would it look like from the inside out? In that way I discover interesting patterns and forms that comprise a rhythm as a whole.’ By stretching parts of objects on a canvas or combining them in an installation, he shares his findings with the viewer, who then rediscovers a familiar material. ‘The inside of a utilitarian object is meant to be purely functional,’ says Wunderink. ‘But the inside is precisely what I want to show, by giving it a different function and context. The result is something new.’