Galerie Gabriel Rolt is pleased to present It’s not a house, it's a home!, a show of new paintings by Groningen-based artist Coen Vunderink. This will be Vunderink’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, running from Saturday May 25th through June 26th.
The paintings on view are inspired by Vunderink’s fascination for MRI-scans; mysterious medical pictures of the human brain, black and white with ominous specks of colour that may or may not contain devastating information for the patient.
Using bare canvas as both the medium and the first layer, Vunderink applies vibrating layers of spray-painted photographic negatives picturing everyday objects and materials like carpets, lace, flowers or doormats. This creates photogram-like, monochrome imagery that is both familiar and abstract. To these images, Vunderink adds sparse, expressive brushstrokes, using traditional homemade egg tempera because of its transparency and subdued lighting.
The series on display recall Man Ray’s rayography and El Lissitzksy’s constructivist photograms, as well as paintings by Francis Bacon, who used rayographic images for the postures of some of his painted figures. Like Bacon, Vunderink aspires to ‘peer into’ the human mind, crossing the chasm between image and experience, appearance and emotion, the outward and the inward – much like the MRI-scans that inspired this series of paintings.
Classifying Vunderink’s work is difficult, and quite deliberately so. For at its heart is the interplay between mediums and art forms such as sculpture, photography and painting. By using photographic and sculptural works as source material for his paintbrush-and-egg-tempera paintings, he straddles the line between material and image, figuration and abstraction, tradition and modernity.
Vunderink’s artistic methods have evolved intuitively and experimentally. Yet the works they create have a deliberate duplicity that serves to express the artist’s ambivalence about both reason and emotion, or order and chaos, as well as his wonder at life and the possibilities of art.
Coen Vunderink was born in 1979 in Dalfsen (NL). He graduated from the Minerva Academie Groningen in 2007 and followed the residency program at the Ateliers in Amsterdam from 2009 to 2011. Recent exhibitions include Psychopomp Counsel at the Ateliers, Amsterdam (2011), Summershow at Galerie Gabriel Rolt (2011), Everything's alright forever, Paradise Row Gallery, London (2012), The Royal Price of painting, Amsterdam (2012) and Prospects and Concepts, Mondriaan Fonds, Rotterdam (2013)