Jan van der Ploeg 2003
Van der Ploeg has been using the motif ‘Grip’ for his paintings since 1997. This motif is a ready-made in the form of a horizontal, long rectangle with rounded corners, derived from the hand-holes in the cardboard boxes used for removals. It is essential for the artist that this is an easily recognized everyday form and the starting point, the module, for his wall paintings as well as his intimate panel paintings. Van der Ploeg’s color vocabulary - consisting of black, white and contrasting shades like pink, purple or orange - as well as the smooth, untextured surface of his works - achieved through layers of glazed paint - reinforce the impression that color has been reduced to a mere surface. Yet, the combination of these color fields with precisely related dimensions creates a remarkably three-dimensional quality. Van der Ploeg’s ’Grips’ link painting, sculpture, system, and seriality. They simultaneously fit in with the everyday world in their overall effect, and function as signs and ornaments, while producing a painterly illusion. The ’Grips’ are a design device that allows formal reduction, but also inexhaustible variations. They create a maximum effect with a minimum of artistic resources. Van der Ploeg is a co-founder of PS Projects, an artist-run exhibition space in Amsterdam.
Jan van der Ploeg
external exhibitions & cooperations