Marije Vermeulen, 1976 Delft
Education: 2008 mentoring by Jan van der Ploeg, via Kunstenaars&Co
2003 Academy of Arts, Den Bosch department: autonomous painting and drawing
1999 Hout (wood) & Meubilering (furniture) College, Amsterdam artisan furnituredesign and making
1997 Academy of Arts Arnhem department: fashiondesign
Marije Vermeulen makes paintings and wall pieces in which color, energy, and brightness are important elements. The work is made up of precisely divided, tightly executed forms and patterns. It is painted contrasty in even or dissolving colors. The origin of shapes, partitions, and combinations of color is found in observations and a process of extensive sketching. The contradiction between restrained execution and rich exuberance gives a controlled and at the same time dynamic image.
The work is based on romantic and exotic cliché images that give evidence of a life full adventure, glamour and traveling. Palm tree silhouettes, sunsets, wide beaches, boulevards with parading people, colored parasols, cocktails, white villas, tropical gardens, luxury hotels and sunlit swimming pools. Besides these observed sources she also uses images from an elaborately collected archive of pictures from glossy fashion and lifestyle magazines. The titles of the paintings refer to these escapist sources, this in contrast to the titles of the wall pieces which refer mostly to an act in the making process.
The making process starts with a frame. With a painting, the frame starts very intuitive by means of a quick sketch. With a wall piece it starts with the dimensions of the space where the work will be executed. The proportions of the frame are essential. The sizes of the forms in the work are a multiple or a mathematical partition of these proportions. A frame implicates the presence of an inner world and an outer area. Some works focus on being an object and others continue imaginary beyond the frame. This can be seen literally in the wall pieces, because the architectural elements present in a space, like a window or an arch, play a part in the design. That’s why a design for a specific space can only be executed there; otherwise, it loses its relevance of form and proportion.
The work is then built up with a series of actions based on small colored pencil sketches. These actions are, for example cutting in halves, turning over, repeating, transferring and cutting through. By making deliberate choices from the sketches for the next action instead of trying on the canvas, the work stays bright and clean. Because of this method, layers appear. These are sometimes exploited in spaciousness or sometimes used to oppose it by creating flatness.