Jan van der Ploeg
The New Thing

8 March - 6 April 2019

For the first time Two Rooms presents 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 recognisable 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 uses rhythm and repetition to achieve varying effects. In this way his work shares a visceral similarity with the typographic medium, yet the solid graphic bodies of his forms convey sensation rather than meaning.

An extended period of planning forms the basis of van der Ploeg’s installation processes. Experimenting with an expansive palette of colours, tints and source material, the artist modulates each element in increments. This is a method of processing place rather than applying strict and systematic rules, of provoking the energetic relationships the artist finds latent in 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 towards a new horizon.

The edition of works on paper that accompanies the wall installations also tests the limits of ‘new’ and ‘thing,’ being, as it is, recent variations on the metaphorically titled ‘grip’ form that van der Ploeg has worked with since 1997. Creating a visual pulse with a simple variation of elements, van der Ploeg’s works flip swiftly between figure and ground, solid and suggested, into a vivid hum.