A wall runs the length of the gallery from front to back, through 2 exhibition spaces, along a corridor and through the back office space. Ammerlaan has made 4 large paintings which will occupy this entire wall, a constant presence in our peripheral vision. They loom in the background, making a place for the exhibition. These canvasses had lines pressed into them before stretching, which are revealed in the light as we move along them. Ammerlaan has an ongoing fascination with peripheral vision, the unseen in the seen, the occult in the cult, faith vs reason, emotional against rational, the fleeting, the out of reach.
Ammerlaan is constantly testing what painting can do and how it can serve to help him investigate his ideas and questions about the world. These are not abstract paintings. He does not tell the paintings what to look like. He is not using process to be able to reproduce a recognisable, signature type of result. He told me about a book he is reading. About how Christ's childhood is unknown. The most 'known' man in history appeared as a baby and reappeared fully formed as a man. The development from one stage to the other is a mystery. This seems true of these paintings. There is a starting point, a process followed and the result, a finished painting. Imagery creeps in. Geometric shapes and patterns taken from churches. Religion impacts on us mentally but also visually through pattern and symbol. One painting takes a brick pattern, the Magic Knot, used on the exterior of Dutch churches, a kind of labyrinth designed to trap demons and prevent them from entering God's house. The complex thread work in another painting (illustrated above) is based on the floorplan of a church. These are ideas that exist in the periphery vision of our thinking and provide the fundament of the history of art and thought.
This exhibition shows the full spectrum of Ammerlaan's painting practice along with new video and sculptural works.
This is the first solo show at David Risley Gallery by Dutch artist Frank Ammerlaan (NL,1979). He lives and works in London, following his MA from the Royal College of Art in 2012. His work has been awarded several prizes including the Scheffer Prize (2013), the Royal Prize of Painting, the Land Securities Prize RCA, the Doha Studio Art Prize (all 2012) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Painting Prize (2007). Solo exhibitions include the Dordrechts Museum, Museo d'Arte Conteporanea Calasetta and at different international galleries. Group exhibitions include White Cube Gallery, London, KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, the Royal Palace, Amsterdam and NEST, The Hague. Ammerlaan is one of the founders of artist-run initiative De Service Garage. His work is in private and corporate art collections and museums such as Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Museum Voorlinden, Ekard Collection (NL), Hugo and Carla Brown collection (NL), Just collection (DK).