“Material Mutations, part one: The Canvas” Exhibition


poster for “Material Mutations, part one: The Canvas” Exhibition
[Image: Jan Maarten Voskuil "Non-fit Dynamic Multichrome White" (2021) acrylic on linen, approximately 70 x 54 x 3 in.]

This event has ended.

In Material Mutations, part one: The Canvas, three artists are brought together who utilize painting and particularly the canvas in inventive ways to realize there is still a multitude to discover and develop within the medium. Painting, a medium that has repeatedly been declared to be of the past, is thus given new parameters. Aside from working with traditional paint and brush, their approach tends to mainly focus on the canvas. By cutting, burning, and tightening the canvas substrate spatially, they discover novel and personal ways to re-contextualize painting and give it renewed rigor.

The three exhibiting artists, Lily de Bont, Kathleen Kucka, and Jan Maarten Voskuil, all started their careers in the 1980’s. At that time, the adage among artists was “everything has already been done.” After conceptual art, minimal art, land art, performance art, and photo-based work, painting no longer held a prime position in the art world. How would artists with an interest in painting then move the dialogue forward?

Material Mutations, part one: The Canvas proposes that the historic medium of paint is far from exhausted and there are plenty of discoveries and innovations to be made. Revelations depend not only on the brilliance of the moment but also on perseverance and the constant development of new skills and innovations from the artists. The work in this exhibition suggests that by rigorously looking at something you think you already know, new perspectives, and approaches can emerge and serve as a means for renewal.

Lily de Bont attacks her paintings head-on by cutting the canvas, removing it from the stretcher bars or at times reversing the weaving. Armed with a scalpel she carefully dissects the canvas structure like an accomplished anatomic pathologist. The unraveled threads hang loosely downwards and change the overall construct, including its dimensions. The deconstructed canvas can be tilted and draped, where at times the wooden supports are exposed as a frame work. In other works, the stretcher bars become independent elements and are further dissected by what she calls “amputations”. Her work methods continue the principles of the French Supports/Surface movement.

The works by Kathleen Kucka are painted with fire. She literally burns the canvas open and reveals a view of the realm beyond the surface. This realm is sometimes only light and shadow or empty space. Other times additional painted canvas is stretched behind the burn-marked surface, to emphasize stratification, and to denote a new world behind the surface facade. There are not just protrusions created by burning the canvas, the surface is also imbued with smoke from the combustion process. The residue from this provides an additional aesthetic with round contours and a contrasting chiaroscuro. Kucka plays with the burns to create patterns that are soft and transcendent. Monumental canvases are created in which its beauty lies in the repetition of destruction.

Jan Maarten Voskuil stretches his paintings into the third dimension. He cuts them into modules, after which the works are reconstructed by turning the stretcher bars into tensioned spatial constructions with smooth curved surfaces. In the design of the works he plays with geometric and monochromatic ideas in painting, showing kinship with Minimalism from the 1960s and 70s. His spatial and often modular constructions have evolved into an elaborate oeuvre that explores the boundaries and correlations between painting, sculpture, design, and architecture.

Lily de Bont lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She graduated with honors in 1989 from the Sint Joost Academy in Den Bosch. That year she received the Lucas Award and the Jan Hoet Award. She has exhibited in the Netherlands and Germany, notably at Acec, Apeldoorn, NL and Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim, Germany, and is represented by NL=US Gallery in Rotterdam, NL.

Kathleen Kucka lives and works in New York City and Falls Village, CT. She graduated from the New York schools, The Cooper Union in 1984 and received an MFA from Hunter College in 1994. She has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe, notably at Heather Gaudio Fine Art, New Canaan, CT and Gallerie Roger Katwijk, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY. Her work can be found in collections throughout the US and the Netherlands and she is represented by Heather Gaudio Fine Art in New Canaan, CT and Marsha Mateyka Gallery in Washington D.C.

Jan Maarten Voskuil lives and works in Rotterdam. He graduated in General Arts at the University of Groningen in 1989 and from the Ateliers Arnhem in 1997. He has shown his work worldwide, notably at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL, Dr Julius, Berlin, Germany and is represented by Sebastian Fath Contemporary in Mannheim, Germany and Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. He has an exhibition opening at Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia later this year.



from September 25, 2021 to October 24, 2021

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