Jan van der Ploeg in A Couch to Match the Painting, Nieuw Dakota Centre of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jan van der Ploeg in A Couch to Match the Painting, New Dakota Centre of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam

Installation View

January 11 – February 8, 2015

German art historian Walter Graskamp discredited the painting above a sofa ‘as an unrelenting human need. “Modern art seems to have broken every taboo in the course of its history, but there is still one that people are reluctant to mention. It is a genre that is ridiculed in public, but secretly enjoyed – the couch painting.” It is this need that Henk Stallinga and Jan van der Ploeg denounce, with anti- illusionism as a common denominator. Stallinga’s installation titled A Couch to Match the Painting is an attempt to pull the unshakable but limited marriage between the couch and painting out of context. The painting is reduced to its physical essence of stretcher and canvas and hangs loose in space. The couch is made up of the same material with the underlying structure of the stretcher clearly visible. The installation is exhibited in a duo presentation with Jan van der Ploeg’s Wall Painting no. 397. Whereas Stallinga reduces the painting to its bare material essence, Jan van der Ploeg, by contrast, elevates the wall into a canvas. In his wall-paintings he applies a diminished colour palette: monochrome coloration, repetition and anti-illusionist depth are the different shapes he borrows from industrial imagery.

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