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Thursday 31st May


Jan Maarten Voskuil - Non-Alphabetical Order

Art Sensus, 7 Howick Place, London SW1P 1BP

On 03 May 2012 Art Sensus will introduce Dutch artist Jan Maarten Voskuil to London in an exhibition titled Non-Alphabetical Order. On display will be his latest series of paintings, 4 Squeezed Squares, Dynamic Monochromes and The Alphabet of Silly Colours. These bodies of work all deconstruct painting itself, in both a consistent and elaborate way. They rationally emphasise the formal aspects of colour, size and deformation, whilst embodying dynamism and sensuality. 
Voskuil’s work transcends the boundaries between the processes of design, sculpture, painting and installation art. Constructing his own stretcher frames, he manipulates the wood into organic curves and geometric shapes, then stretches linen over the forms, creating a spatially three-dimensional artwork. These minimalist canvases, painted solid white or with large monochrome shapes, create a dynamic surface without the need for further ornamentation or narrative. 
Voskuil gave up figurative painting over 15 years ago when the urge to explore artistically how things were made, rather than why, took over. Unsatisfied with the two dimensional surface, Voskuil began experimenting with the physical composition of the painted surface. Over time, as his skills in bending the wooden stretchers became more refined, this led to the discovery of countless possibilities of manipulating the canvas. 
Voskuil’s oeuvre follows in the footsteps of minimalist artists of the 1960s such as Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi and Lucio Fontana, who all experimented with altering the traditional canvas. While his predecessors saw their work as a break with or rejection of painting itself, Voskuil differs in that he still thinks of his work as painting, always using linen and acrylic paint as his primary materials. 
The first of Voskuil’s series to be unveiled, 4 Squeezed Squares, is comprised of large-scale square modular pieces with the canvas of each individual module ‘squeezed’ differently, then fitted together to create the final work. The modules Voskuil creates, which he refers to as ‘spare parts’, exemplify the simple geometric skeleton that sets up the spatial frame of the painting. The colour white is used exclusively for these works to emphasize the play of light and shadow on the canvas surface as well as his ambivalence towards the narrative nature of colour. Conversely, Dynamic Monochromes consists of broken circles, consisting of uneven parts which are reconstructed into lozenge-like modules placed together to form ‘splashy monochromes’. 
A similar contrast can be seen in The Alphabet of Silly Colours. For this edition of smaller works, Voskuil creates a circular canvas, and subdivides it into 4 equal sections. As an origami painting he explores the possibilities, folding each section into a new highly graphical shape. The series of 17 shapes anesthetises all the possibilities within Voskuil’s own rules. The title of the work underlines his ambivalence towards colour, as something which he wishes to distance himself from. 
Aside of these three new series, Voskuil will also show recent ‘Pointless’ works. These works, which he started in 2007, are from a previous exhibition titled The Point Is, There is No Point. 
Born in 1964 in Arnhem, The Netherlands, Jan Maarten Voskuil received his Master of Arts from University of Groningen and pursued his post-graduate studies at the Ateliers Arnhem, Art Academy Arnhem in The Netherlands. Voskuil has exhibited widely in Europe, the United States and Australia, and his work is held in the collections of the Frans Halsmuseum Haarlem, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, as well as numerous others. 
Art Sensus
7 Howick Place 
London SW1P 1BP 
+44 (0)20 7630 9585 
04 May – 13 July 2012
Tuesday to Friday, 10am – 6pm 
Saturday, 11am – 5pm