Jan van der Ploeg

The New Thing

7 March - 6 April 2019


For the first time Two Rooms is able to present an ambitious large-scale wall painting by Dutch artist Jan van der Ploeg. Working against the affordances of existing built environments, van der Ploeg deploys a recognizable, graphic vocabulary with tactical intent, pushing against the solid structures each painting is contained by. Placing pressure on a reduced lexicon of recurring, simple forms, van der Ploeg pulls forward rhythm and repetition to achieve his effects. In this way, his work can be seen to share a visceral similarity with the typographic medium. Yet, the solid graphic bodies of his forms convey sensation rather than meaning.

A reflective period of planning and construction forms the basis of van der Ploeg’s installation process. Experimenting with an expansive palette of colours, tints, and source material, the artist then modulates each element in increments. This is a method of processing place rather than applying strict and systematic rules, intended to provoke the energetic relationships he finds latent to existing, stable structures. Taking shape as vibrant tonal environments, each of van der Ploeg’s installations suggests alternate spatial schemes.

The title, The New Thing, frames this fleet-footed process of intervention, playing on the velocity of ideas-as-images and their capacity to move a given object toward a new horizon. The edition of works on paper also test the limits of ‘New’ and ‘Thing,’ being, as they are, a recent variation on the metaphorically titled ‘grip’ form that van der Ploeg has worked with since 1997.  Creating a visual pulse with a most simple variation of elements, to view these works in the context of the larger installation is to be flipped swiftly between figure and ground, solid and suggested, into a vivid hum.


Artist Biography:
Jan van der Ploeg (1959, Amsterdam) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam and Croydon College of Art in London and was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

In 1990 Jan van der Ploeg was awarded the Royal Award for Modern Painting.

He has exhibited his work extensively in both solo and group exhibitions in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.  In 1999 Jan van der Ploeg founded the artist-run gallery, PS projectspace in Amsterdam.

Selected solo exhibitions include: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MOMA PS1, New York, Kunsthaus Basel, Basel; Kunstverein Heilbronn, Heilbronn; Von Bartha, Basel; Minus Space, New York; Sikkema Jenkins, New York; City Gallery, Wellington; Taubert Contemporary, Berlin; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Selected group exhibitions include: Delighting the World, Mies Van der Rohe Haus on the occasion of 100 years Bauhaus; Dashper, van der Ploeg & Walters, Sumer Gallery, Tauranga; Julian Dashper and Friends, City Gallery, Wellington; Musée Jurassien de Arts, Moutier, PEINTURE EN PROMO; Galerie Klaus Braun, Stuttgart; Tremenheere Gallery, Penzance, Grounds for Optimism;  PARK, Tilburg, FIELD OF JOY (with Piet Dieleman, Beat Zoderer)