The dark paintings, of which the first five were exhibited for the first time at the PAN in Amsterdam, are like a step in the darkness alongside Marc Mulders. Yet at the same time also a step in the same field of flowers from which Marc Mulders has already drawn endless inspiration.
So it is a change that does not ignore the past, and from this perspective can be seen as a link between the steps that have already taken place and those that are still to come. The work of Marc Mulders is like a search for light and colour. But how do you catch light in the shadows and how do you experience colour in the darkness? The exhibition Black is a chance to experience Marc Mulders’ search for light and colour. Marc Mulders describes it as follows:
“The [dark] paintings [that were displayed last year at PAN] were nothing less than a break in style from my usual pastel-etheric colour palette. Not that these paintings were coloured completely black, but for the first time since the dark canvasses of the eighties, including ‘Pieta’, ‘Bloemen-Maesta’ or ‘Bevroren Rozen’, there was once again that all-important black touch, dark spheres.
A return to dark spheres, therefore, anno 2016, but in ‘BLACK’ the black functions more as a carrier, a backdrop for the brightly coloured passages – openings in that blackness. These canvasses thus also carry a ‘stained glass’ vocabulary – the light pierces its way through the dark.”
A new series of lighter works will also be shown alongside Marc Mulders’ dark paintings. Marc Mulders and Piet Hein Eek have also created a pair of architectural objects together: a stained glass corridor, ‘The Corridor of silence’, and a leaden folding screen made of steel and glass, ‘The Wall’.
‘BLACK’ is, after ‘WHERE THE DEVIL DON’T STAY’ in 2014, the second solo-exhibition by Marc Mulders in the Piet Hein Eek Gallery. So this exhibition will include both light and dark work in which the new is embraced without losing sight of the past.
Black and blond
The dark work is one of the most striking developments in the recent oeuvre of Marc Mulders and originated when Piet Hein Eek asked if he was willing to try to capture colour and light in the dark. After a long period of trial and error he created a series of five paintings, ‘Moonlight Garden’, which was exhibited last year at PAN in Amsterdam.
The exhibition ‘BLACK’ displays a sequel to ‘Moonlight Garden’, a title that is derived from one of the gardens laid out around the mausoleum the Taj Mahal, in Agra, Northern India. One of them is the Mahatab and was specially created to shine in the moonlight.
In recent years Marc Mulders had worked mainly with a lighter palette, a colour palette that he, despite the recent developments towards a darker colour palette, has not left behind altogether. As such, the new exhibition will also include a new series of ‘blond paintings’, entitled ‘Let the Desert Bloom’. This title refers to inspiration found in the Arabic-Islamic culture and to the artistic solutions within the architecture of gardens and landscape in Islamic art, and in particular Persian miniature art.
In 2016 Marc Mulders painted an artwork commissioned by the Museum Gouda for one of the showroom ceiling paintings: ‘Light reflection’. A second version can be seen, or rather can ‘be experienced’, in this exhibition.
Corridor of silence
One man alone is relatively harmless and in our experiences and musings we are all very similar creatures. Nevertheless, every person has his or her own discourse and experiences the world in his or her own way. The Corridor of silence, a walkway with stained-glass windows at either end, enables each and everyone to experience the light, darkness and colour of Marc Mulders in their own way.
The corridor of silence is a joint work by Marc Mulders and Piet Hein Eek, who have worked together previously in various projects involving glass design and in which bring together their mutual desire to both literally and figuratively leave something good behind.
The Wall is a separating wall that is intended to connect. Marc Mulders’ glass objects and the tubes that Piet Hein Eek had left over from the redevelopment of the RAG Building at Strijp-R, a former Philips industrial site in Eindhoven, come together in a separating wall. This wall is made from pieces of tubing and glass discs that, because the light plays from one side to the other, actually connect. The piece is both raw and refined and the tubes and discs have been carefully combined to form a wall.
Please watch the video portait of Marc Mulders below, made for the occasion of his honorary citizenship of the Province of Noord-Brabant (English subtitles):
Please click here for an overview of the art works by Marc Mulders in our collection.
Please click the following link to read Piet Hein’s blog.