For Art Rotterdam 2023, Rutger Brandt Gallery is pleased to present a playful and dynamic booth featuring Dutch artist Thijs Jansen in visual and conceptual conversation with international artists Ryan Crotty and Omar Rodriguez-Graham. Shown together for the first time, the artists share a core interest in color and an ongoing exploration of painting’s inherent language. Their works evoke an atmosphere of optimism with bright and vibrant compositions, all playing the lines between figurative and abstract, familiar and surreal.
Thijs Jansen’s figurative works are surreal and dream-like in their content and form. The artist approaches his paintings as a kind of diorama or stage—an imaginary space where he can direct and change details to evoke a mood or set an atmosphere. The starting point of Jansen’s paintings are fragments of memories and subconscious experiences in specific public spaces which he cleverly isolates and recreates into novel spatial compositions Whether portraying a pool party or an aisle of the grocery store, Jansen’s works are full of whimsy, illusion and emotion.
Ryan Crotty’s luminous paintings are also atmospheric with their sublime and sumptuous geometric imagery. Crotty is inspired by the Light and Space movement, and he builds his paintings with layers of transparent acrylic folded one atop another on a linen base. He then pulls and manipulates pigments mixed with gloss gel across the surface with a blade to create abstract, nearly psychedelic forms. Mysterious and captivating, each painting is composed of different formal structures which the artist himself can neither fully plan or control.
Omar Rodriguez-Graham’s explosively colorful compositions are full of energy and optimism. His works play the line between painting and sculpture, hoping to find the meeting point between the recognizable and the abstract. The artist begins each piece with familiar images that he shifts and transforms into loosely recognizable figures which evoke memories to suggest new realities. The resulting works are sculptures that present a purely playful painterly experience.
Together, Jansen, Crotty and Rodriguez-Graham share a focus on art as defined by the experience of viewing. So visiting our booth at Art Rotterdam will be a highly experiential, enjoyable, and even emotional experience. The three artists are a shining example of new era of possibility for the art-object, one filled with energy, color and play.