From February 26 until April 16 the exhibition ‘Shades’ by artist Robert Zandvliet is on view at Peter Blum Gallery. There will be an opening reception on Friday February 26, from 6 to 8 pm.
In the past Zandvliet has continuously worked in periods where he investigates a specific subject, such as manmade objects, the landscape or stones, creating his own iconography. Zandvliet strives to create an archetypical image of this subject and at the same time wants to get as close as possible to the core of it. Like in Plato’s metaphor of the cave, he attempts to depict the world that cannot be seen directly. Although he acknowledges that the painting never represents the truth, Zandvliet will not cease to seek the ultimate image, the true image.
In his newest work Zandvliet begins to combine his lexicon of iconography and uses it interchangeably. In what seems to be a contradiction with his earlier position, Zandvliet started to explore the narrative. In Elegie, 2015, he combined two horizontal panels, one depicting a hairpin bend and the other various rocks. Because these images energize each other, narrative comes about.
Over the past two years Zandvliet replaced the paintbrush with the roller. Zandvliet felt that the virtuosity of his signature brush stroke became a limitation instead of an enrichment. The roller restrains stylization and forces him to focus more on applying the paint to the linen. It is a way for him to rediscover his process of painting and compels him to look more intensely at his work. With the roller he replaced the egg temper for self-made acrylic, which makes the paintings breathe and reveals more of the raw linen.
When one looks at Zandvliet’s paintings, one first beholds abstract works. But when one steps away or looks from a different angle, all of a sudden a figuration might occur. This shift is exactly what Zandvliet aims for. The experience is most direct without preconceptions; he just asks the viewer to look.
About Robert Zandvliet
Robert Zandvliet was born in 1970 in Terband, The Netherlands. He lives and works in Rotterdam. In 1994, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome after finishing a residence at the artist institute ‘De Ateliers’ that same year. He has had numerous solo museum exhibitions, including at the De Pont Museum for Contemporary Art in Tilburg, The Netherlands (1997, 2005, 2014); the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, The Netherlands (2012); the Museum Belvédère, Heerenveen, The Netherlands (2008); Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2005); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Neues Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland (2001); Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg, France (2000).