This new body of work consists of sculptures characterized by the isolation of anatomical fragments and the unification of the incoherent all linked by a fantastical perspective. The viewer is induced to wonder about the anomalies of each element which is different not only in scale but also in context resulting in new associations as well as in absurdity. However, the absurdity of the works is not absurd anymore when one thinks about the reality of dreams. The dimensions are off kilter, the perspectives erratic, and the order of things askew. Each object is rearranged in an inverted world with a different logic.
Oversized legs, absurd proportions, and morphing abstract shapes create a magical world with a touch of irony. Through the depiction of people, body parts, objects, and animals, van Meeuwen leads the viewer to the world of memories and dreams. Memory images become more childlike in the sense that the object’s size corresponds to its relevance, rather than its size in the physical world. The transformations in his artworks by the memory process are also intensified by the influence of childhood memories due to the different perspective of a child for whom everything seems much larger than for the full-grown adult.
Van Meewen’s sculptures are ideal objects for the imagination. They provide enough stimulus to get the process going but remain vague enough not to determine its direction. In his world of inversions and fragmentation (without context or narrative structure) everything is turned upside down, overstretched, deformed, and removed from the flow of time. This fun yet ironic body of work develops a spell, an almost mystical, magical state between reality and fiction -- it is personal, witty, weird, and unexpected.
Hans Van Meeuwen was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, lived for 15 years in Cologne, Germany and recently moved to New York. He has shown extensively both in galleries and museums throughout Germany and the Netherlands.