• 'WINDOWS' by Marc Mulders
  • 2014-05-03T00:00:00+02:00
  • 2014-08-31T23:59:59+02:00
  • Kunsthal KAdE has invited artist Marc Mulders (b. Tilburg, 1958) to curate its opening exhibition in Amersfoort’s new Eemhuis cultural centre. The painter will show his own recent work in dialogue with pieces by other artists.

Artists: Marc Mulders, Erik Andriesse, Balthasar Burkhard, Tessa Chaplin, Toshio Enomoto, Roland Fischer, Anne Forest, Bram Hermens, Volker Hüller, Natasja Kensmil, Wolfgang Laib, Couzijn Leeuwen, Jan Koen Lomans, Fiona Mackay, Kenneth Noland, Carla Puttelaar, Laura Samson Rous, Jan Schoonhoven, Maaike Schoorel, Alexander Slobbe, Social label ontwerp Piet Hein Eek, Josine Timmer, Bram Velde, Geer Velde, Evi Vingerling, Reinoud Vught, Ronald Zuurmond

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Marc Mulders’ oeuvre moves between two poles: poetry, light and openness on the one hand; confinement and darkness on the other. These two aspects feature repeatedly in this exhibition, both in his own work and in his choice of items by other artists. 

The show at Kunsthal KAdE will encompass three of the areas in which Marc Mulders works: glass, paint on canvas, and works on paper. Especially for this occasion, he will create a great new rose window in the main exhibition area. The same space will also accommodate an arrangement of glass objects and a wall-sized collage. The smaller spaces and side-rooms surrounding the main exhibition area will be used to display recent oil paintings and a selection of works by artists of the past and present whom Mulders admires or finds inspiring. They include a number who work in the abstract field and this exhibition will be the first ever to emphasize this element in Mulders’ own oeuvre.

The artists selected by Marc Mulders are:
Erik Andriesse (NL, 1957-1993) | Balthasar Burkhard (CH, 1944-2010) | Tessa Chaplin (NL, 1991) | Toshio Enomoto (JP, 1947) | Anne Forest (VS/ NL 1983) | Bram Hermens (NL, 1979) | Volker Hüller (DE, 1976) | Natasja Kensmil (NL, 1973) | Wolfgang Laib (DE, 1950) | Couzijn van Leeuwen (NL, 1959) |Jan Koen Lomans (NL, 1978) | Fiona Mackay (UK, 1984) | Kenneth Noland (US, 1924-2010) | Jan Schoonhoven (NL, 1914-1994) | Maaike Schoorel (UK, 1973) | Alexander van Slobbe (NL, 1959) | Social label* (met ontwerp van Piet Hein Eek) | Josine Timmer (NL, 1982) | Bram van Velde (NL, 1895-1981) | Geer van Velde (NL, 1898-1977) | Evi Vingerling (NL, 1979) | Reinoud van Vught (NL, 1960) | Ronald Zuurmond (NL, 1964)

In his recent series of works, Marc Mulders has moved increasingly towards luminosity, timelessness and abstraction. After focusing in on individual elements in nature, such as flora and fauna, he is now turning his attention to the entire landscape in all its ethereal impalpability. He now seeks to recreate the aura of the diffuse panoramic image we perceive when we look past and beyond the detail of the landscape to its horizon. The thick, exploratory manner of painting remains, but his palette is ever more pallid and his subjects are less and less substantial and recognizable.

The title of this exhibition – ‘Windows’ – embraces multiple allusions: to the stained glass that Mulders has been producing for the last fifteen years; to the traditional idea of a painting as a window onto a new (often spiritual) world; to the perspective on the oeuvres of other artists that Marc Mulders offers in the show; and to the architecture of the main exhibition space in Kunsthal KAdE’s new premises, where apertures in all the walls offer glimpses of the surrounding spaces and side-rooms.  

Marc Mulders’ new series of paintings is heavily influenced by his experience of working in stained glass. In the 1990s, the windows were a logical follow-up to the paintings he had been producing since the 80s. They displayed the same themes, lyricism and attention to detail, but it was all enhanced and enlivened by the light streaming through the glass. For some time now, Mulders has extended that oeuvre by using glass in a more autonomous way, as a support for paintings. Convex glass discs displayed on flat walls and brought to eloquent life by (natural or electric) front-lighting are a frequent feature of his recent work.  

A fascinating dialogue has emerged between Marc Mulders’ oeuvre in glass and his work on canvas. In the windows, the glass support is an obvious means of introducing light into the image, both by allowing it to pass through transparent areas and by blocking it with areas of opacity. For centuries, light has been a subject of great interest to painters. They have sought not only to depict it, but also to give it a more metaphysical role in their pictures. In stained glass – traditionally used in churches – light has a strongly religious connotation and this is something that Mulders deliberately exploits. On canvas, he plays with the idea of light by leaving passages unpainted, so that ‘empty spaces’ occur amid the otherwise complex, multi-layered brushwork and act as ‘backlighting’. And then there are the collages, drawings and photomontages, in which Mulders combines images from the real world with images replete with symbolic meaning. The artist charges the combination with (to some extent moral) reflections on ‘good and evil’ – abstractions that influence our whole approach to life, whether or not we are aware of the fact. 

The two contrasting elements – light & transparency vs. collage & opacity – will be brought out in this exhibition, both within Mulders’ own work and in its dialogue with that of other artists. The inclusion of painters like Kenneth Noland and Jan Schoonhoven and of sculptor Wolfgang Laib emphasizes the abstract side of Mulders’ recent work. While the linear, orderly character of these artists’ work is translated into a more intuitive and superficially chaotic handling of paint in Mulders’ canvases, each of them strives in some way to achieve a sublimation of reality. 

Photographers like Balthasar Burkhard and Toshio Enomoto impose (as Mulders does) a ‘filter’ on the landscape, veiling it with a layer of abstraction. Artists like Natasja Kensmil, Ronald Zuurmond and Dieuwke Spaanse explore (again, as Mulders does) the darker sides of nature, human and otherwise. 

'WINDOWS' is the last in a triptych
For Marc Mulders, ‘WINDOWS’ is the last in a triptych of one-man shows on spirituality and art that he has mounted in the last 3 years. The first, ‘LOST FOR FAITH/RETURNED FOR BEAUTY’, was held in 2012 on the invitation of Guus Beumer at Marres Maastricht. It was followed in 2013 by a retrospective entitled ‘THE MOONLIGHT GARDEN’, held at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch.

‘WINDOWS’ is Kunsthal KAdE’s opening exhibition in the new Eemhuis cultural centre, a building which will also houses the Eemland library, archive, and schools of performing and visual arts. The Eemhuis was designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects of Rotterdam.

For further information about Marc Mulders and his oeuvre, visit: