Ornis A. Gallery proudly presents Dutch artists Tanja Ritterbex (The Netherlands, 1985) and Marliz Frencken (The Netherlands, 1955). At Artissima, there will be three video works (2015) by Ritterbex presented. Two Nail Art Studio videos (Rich Bitch Life and Family portrait) were on display before in a presentation at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. One work (How to steal a dirty million) is on display for the first time. From Frencken’s oeuvre, her ’85/’86 work (paintings and gouaches) will be on show, from which a big part was never shown before. Next to this, there will be two recent works presented in this installation, forming a connection between her earlier and recent work.
Tanja Ritterbex creates disturbing and endlessly fascinating surroundings. There is always a personal touch to be found in her artistic creations, capturing the world around her in a somewhat exhibitionist, provocative manner. Ritterbex takes her own personal experiences as a starting point for her artistic projects. She herself defines her work as an absurdist artistic diary, based on her own life and experience. The construction of women’s identity image plays a central role in her oeuvre. She treats her fictional subjects (which often implies treating herself, for she often plays in het own short movies) with a good sense of humour. This even implies that Ritterbex does not shy away from a slight touch of self-mockery. Ritterbex always integrates an alienated element in the context of her artistic narrative. By doing so, she makes the viewer look at ordinary settings in a distorted way.
One could argue that Ritterbex steadily deconstructs her own identity, by transparently exploring its semi-fictional or constructed character in the works of art she produces. What makes her work so fascinating is the way in which she shows that there is constantly the basic need for this ‘other’ (the Tanja in her own movies) to construct one’s own artistic identity. This is, we could state, a perfect example of the creation of the image of ‘the self’ (in contemporary culture) as a crucial starting point for artistic expression.
Tanja Ritterbex (The Netherlands, 1985) lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She studied at Academie Beeldende Kunst (Maastricht), Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and De Ateliers (Amsterdam). Recently her work has been shown at Showroom Mama, Rotterdam (2015), Bonnefanten museum, Maastricht (2015, 2013), W139, Amsterdam (2014) and CFA-Berlin (2014). She will have a solo exhibition at the gallery at the end of 2015 during Amsterdam Art Weekend. And in 2016 she will be a artist in resident at Bronner in Tel Aviv.
We can define the ‘85/’86 work of Marliz Frencken in the same way as some sort of personal diary, but in a totally different manner, compared to the work of Ritterbex. Frencken’s work is delicate, modest and vulnerable. It reminds us of (at least) two canonical visual traditions in art history: the biomorphic surrealist artworks of Joan Miró and the visual language of the Russian Suprematist tradition. One can state that what Frencken aims at capturing in her works is some sort of vulnerable temporality (she herself characterizes her works as ‘butterflies’). An interesting paradox in her work is the following: at first sight, her images seem to capture intuitive, emotional states of being or fragmented pieces of reality. At the same time, her abstract images remind us of the Dutch De Stijl – Russian Suprematist tradition in art history where abstract language was used to capture a specific ‘universal order’, in which oppositions were completely neutralized. Frencken’s works seem to contain a certain universality and timelessness, but are at the same time extremely powerful illustrations of specific, fragmentary and temporary emotional states of being. She provides the viewer with a new reality, composed through little pieces of fragmented meanings. By doing this, she leads us to a new order of existence. The works capture a reality of experiences, impressions of daily life, dreams and desires. The aim of Frencken is to abstractly en figuratively manifest ‘transitory values’ (such as beauty, tradition, nature) in an explosion of colours and forms.
Marliz Frencken (The Netherlands, 1955) lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Arnhem. Solo exhibitions include: MARTa Herford, Germany curated by Jan Hoet (2007) and Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen (2008). Recently her work has been shown in Middle Gate Geel ‘13, curated by Jan Hoet (2013), Peter Kilchmann gallery, Zürich (2015) and Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim (2015). She has a solo exhibition at the gallery right now.