MARLIZ FRENCKEN – SELECTION 1983 – 2017 – BEWARE OF A RED PAINTING
Opening 9 September 17:00 – 19:00
This September, we will host a solo exhibition by Marliz Frencken (The Netherlands, 1955) in which a selection of her oeuvre from 1983 to 2017 will be on view.
There is an interesting paradox to be noticed in the work of Frencken: at first sight, her images seem to depict intuitive, emotional states of being or fragmented pieces of reality. At the same time, these images contain a profound universality and timelessness. Frencken’s works capture a reality of experiences, impressions of daily life, dreams and desires. These works manifest transitory values such as beauty, tradition and nature, sometimes in an explosion of colours and forms, sometimes in modest, darker, paler grey or blue colours and lines or intimate fragile figures.
In some of her sculptures, often wrapped up in transparent synthetic resin, Frencken is looking for a form of overcompensated, cruel, and uncanny beauty. In doing this, she effectively combines aesthetic visuals and darker, more naïve perspectives on humanity. As a result, her sculptures have an absorbing and intriguing force, thereby challenging our common notions of affection and abjection, naivety and guilt.
Frencken experiments with shapes and symbols of high and low culture: she combines and recycles quotes from pop art, surrealism and rococo; she blends the idea of classical sculpture with the aesthetics of pop culture. The sculptures appear equally attractive and repulsive, enchanting and sinister, figurative and abstract, precious and kitschy. Frencken integrates chance as an artistic principle into her work by decorating colored clay sculptures with things she has simply found (objets trouvés) as well as materials taken from everyday life and consumer articles.
Notions of abstraction and figuration are about to lose their opposition when used by Frencken. Both notions eventually become means for a shared purpose: the representation of fundamental basic human emotions. Frencken does not restrict herself to one medium only. Sculpture, painting, drawing, gouache, found objects or images, they all become carriers of meaning in her artistic universe. In this universe, recurring themes are the ultimate bond of mother and child, the metamorphosis of the (naked) female figure, and the self-portrait. Be that as it may, this is only a rough selection of the topics Frencken addresses. Her immensely elaborate oeuvre covers a broad range of subjects, methods and meanings.
Red turns out to be a decisive colour and a recurring feature in both Frencken’s paintings and her three-dimensional works. The selection for this exhibition is based on this emphasis. Red is often associated with a deep intensity and forceful emotional quality. Red defining blood and death, scratches and wounds, love and birth, endless depths and subtle temptation; Frencken explores the possibilities of this colour and its shifting implications.
The process of movement is essential to Frencken’s work. The colliding of her figures is not only rooted in their physical presence but even more in their fluid identity. Frencken establishes unforeseen and fragmented combinations of low- and high culture objects and references, explicitly showing the never-ending stride between the trivial and the extraordinary, mainstream and bourgeois, secularism and religion, ugliness and beauty, fear and hope. In Frencken’s art, contradictions are never absolute; every image moves and merges in front of our eyes.
Marliz Frencken (1955, Panningen, The Netherlands) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Arnhem in 1980. Selected exhibitions include Peter Kilchmann gallery, Zürich (2015), Kunst Vereniging Diepenhein, Diepenheim (2015), Museum het Valkhof, Nijmegen (2015), Middle Gate Geel ’13, Geel, curated by Jan Hoet (2013)