Sander van Deurzen
Rückenfigur, 2014, Acrylic and oil on canvas. 140x170cm
The Ill Matched Lovers
Sander van Deurzen (1975) Blerick, lives and works in Amsterdam. He shows his latest work in a solo exhibition named The Ill Matched Lovers at Project Space Tilburg. Broad and bright colour planes and carefully painted human-like figures alternate each other within the work of Sander van Deurzen. The artist derives his images from Art History and advertisement brochures and makes them into still lives, portraits or landscapes.
Although his work – as abstract as it is figurative, but never a boring compromise – is firmly rooted, it possesses a playful quality that disconcerts the spectator. Sander’s work is satirical, full of contrast and opinionated. The artist himself aims for a ‘painters-rush’ and his works are, although well prepared, subject to an energetic The large ‘brush’ strokes make up a striking part of Sander’s style. He says that he applies these strokes with sponges which means that he always has to spread the canvas out on the floor to prevent the diluted acrylic paint from dripping. White paint is absent as van Deurzen only uses colour: the visible white is provided by the canvas itself, either translucent through the paint, or visible in the absence of paint, which is then carefully removed to create white lines. Black is also regarded a colour since it is created out of a mixture of several colours to avoid pure black. The human-shapes are anonymous models from, for instance, travelling brochures, or small McDonalds toys, collected through the years. Transience is no longer symbolised in a classical manner by a skull with a burned out candle, but rather as a child on an inflatable crocodile. In a playful manner, the flatness and vulgarity of these works makes them grotesque. But it would be a mistake to typify Sander as a light-hearted artist: despite the playful undertone, most of his work also displays a dark edge, an edge that Sander has been exploring more and more in recent years. In his more recent work, darkness, but also the physical (blood, teeth, saliva) play an increasing role.
Not all figurative forms are derived from contemporary images. Some seem to solely express the geometrical: a sphere, watching along as a lonely eye, the, in perspective, misshapen cube, a small vase, a subtle thin wire that is hanging from the table and the drain pipe from which a drop of water hangs almost suspended in the air. A Freudian reading of the works would identify a phallic symbolism and even Sander admits that the exuberant usage of the colour pink gives the works a certain erotic theme.
Van Deurzen’s work is full and rich, especially in contrast, but it is never ‘grey’, never meaningless or flat, because that would be a risk of hybrids. Always playful, sometimes dark and sometimes frivolous. Although his work knows forms and themes inspired by Giorgio de Chirico, thereby referring to seventeenth century still lives, it is crystallised from within the here and now.
Text by Robert Proost
Translation Heleen Klomp
Website Sander van Deurzen
At the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Ill Matched Lovers a catalogue and textbook have been launched (edition 30 signed and numbered). Designed by Jinhee Kwon. Also digital published on ISSUU.