Aafke Bennema, Elka Oudenampsen

paintings, collages

21 June – 26 July 2009

The natural landscapes of Aafke Bennema (1965) have a remarkable clarity. Because of their colour and stylization it is as if they have been handled by a designer. Clouds and trees have light pastel colours and are represented with clear contours, creating a highly graphic and ornamental effect. Aafke Bennema used to apply a related manner of working in portraits. She made lines run across the curves of the face as in an engraving. After the portraits followed rock gardens and underwater landscapes, in which the ornamental qualities of the succulents and corals were made prominent in the smallest detail. The representation of the present landscapes is less precise and detailed, the clear colours and curving lines create unity and speed.

The paintings of Elka Oudenampsen (1967) are preceded by collages. She tears out fragments of photographs in magazines, selecting them not so much for their images as for their colour and form. Often a detail, such as a road or a tree, is still recognizable from the photograph, but essentially they are almost abstract compositions reminding you of landscapes. The directness and abruptness with which the torn-out photo fragments touch each other in the collages create a peculiar three-dimensional effect in the paintings. The coloured areas almost seem to lie as autonomous forms on a platform, without the unity disintegrating. Frequently, the fact that the representation can be regarded as a landscape is caused by small details. A long, curved line running through the image horizontally, for instance, can be interpreted as a wire of a fence.