Marie Civikov – paintings
Marjolijn van der Meij – drawings
Femmy Otten – paintings, reliefs

10 June – 17 July 2011

Marie Civikov (1979) paints in bright, bold colors people and images she finds in the media. They are often presented in a stage-like setting where they pose and seem to have little mutual contact. The playground is a recurring motif in Marie Civikov’s paintings. This place of innocence and fun gets a harrowing atmosphere in her paintings. A young mother for instance is totally absorbed in texting on her two mobile phones, failing to see her daughter next to her. On another canvas we see a pregnant mother in shabby clothes holding the hand of her daughter, who wears a ribbon with the words MISS TAKE over her dress. Giant bingo balls roll off the slide behind them, echoeing the shape of the mother’s belly but even more so announcing the lottery that life will have in store for her children.

Marjolijn van der Meij (1970) makes large charcoal drawings in which she often uses old photos of student groups or people on a party or outing. She puts them in a strange new setting which undermines the naturalness of the original image and calls for a reassessment of the relations between the people depicted. A group of people in a room holding hands during a seance summon up a huge waterfall which reaches to the ceiling of the room. Other images seem more natural but have a latent disturbing atmosphere. As in the group of young people that dance to the music of a portable radio on the desolate bank of a river. A sense of desolateness and alienation is always present.

Femmy Otten (1981) depicts faces of people from her direct environment but also uses pictures and portraits from art history. They are painted with great attention and care, reminding of Madonna’s from the early Renaissance with their disarming delicacy and purity. After having painted the portraits Femmy Otten often cuts them out of the larger canvas, turning them into isolated patches that can be combined. Since a few years she also carves portraits in wood, that are then painted and fixed to the wall with plaster as a bas relief. As a counterpoint, she paints geometric shapes on the same wall that charge up the faces and makes them more poignant. She thus assembles motifs and forms like a collector to whom the treasures of painting, however different in character, are equally valuable and dear.