The German artist Jannis Marwitz (born in Nuremburg in 1985), who has been living in Amsterdam since 2013, is the winner of the 2014 Ruisdael stipend. The Ruisdael stipend, an exhibition project for young artists, is dedicated to the cultural exchange between Germany and the Netherlands. It came about in connection with ‘Residual’, a work created by Willem de Rooij for the sculpture project kunstwegen/raumsichten at Burg Bentheim in 2012.

Jannis Marwitz belongs to a young generation of artists who deliberately use their painting to challenge the boundaries that developed between abstraction and representationalism in the course of the twentieth century. Although this style of painting is very contemporary, it also expresses scepticism towards the guiding principle of the permanent progression of artistic forms and clear references to a specific time. In Jannis Marwitz’s works this timelessness is conveyed by a multifaceted mixture of styles, motifs, and references to other genres such as film. Time and again the artist also includes the surrounding exhibition area in his presentations by adding further perspectives to the classic positioning of a picture on a wall. These features range from additional reflecting layers to three-dimensional installations.

Two series of new paintings by Jannis Marwitz are currently on display in the rooms of the former royal stables of Burg Bentheim that underwent extensive renovations on the occasion of Willem de Rooij’s project in 2012. These works visualise the idea of a consecutive suite of rooms in very different ways. The manifest depth in the abstract pictures on coarse linen is the result of a pictorial process consisting of various layers and the resistant quality of the material. A glass plate on top of the pictures enables them to reflect and thereby incorporate elements of their surroundings. At the same time, an array of figural motifs conveys spatial references on a predominantly pictorial level. Masks from which water seems to be spouting are reminiscent of fountains thus alluding to architectonic elements. In this way Jannis Marwitz was able to create an impressive representation of the continuously opposing forces in painting, in other words, between the materiality of a work and its virtual presentation, and between flat surfaces and three-dimensional space.

Opening: Sunday, 3 August 2014, 2 pm Exhibition: 3 August to 2 November 2014

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Press release

Images: overview [zip, 4MB]

Biography Jannis Marwitz