Sarah Verbeek at Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
Trained as a classic figurative painter Verbeek’s move towards abstraction was, as she says herself, a necessary development. The urgency of this development remains at the heart of her work. As such, her paintings can be called explorative transfers from abstraction into figuration. Objects morph into hairy, bubbly surfaces, legs or arms woven into each other, silhouettes of undefined objects floating atop each other. However spontaneous Verbeek’s flow of shapes and figures seems, what we see is well thought out, re-cyled and re-thought for a period of time. Shapes appear and reappear as shadows or silhouettes in new paintings or within the same painting itself.
In Sarah Verbeek’s work three dimensional and two dimensional forms overlap. Shapes appear and reappear as shadows or silhouettes in new paintings or either within the same painting itself, making it figurative in view, but abstract in perception. Dimensions dissolve, shapes half blocking out what seems to be laid in the painting’s background. As a matter of fact, Verbeek’s surfaces work on several layers, flowing from background to foreground and back again. As such they are subversively avoiding to state what is more or less important.
By doing so Verbeek creates bouncing, energetic structures of form and color. Like all abstract painters she creates what does not exist yet, forever avoiding to be put into words while at the same time making complete sense.
During the autumn of 2017, Sarah Verbeek will be artist in residence at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory at Lake Kawaguchi with the support of the Mondriaan Fonds. The residency is designed for international artists who wish to learn the techniques of the famous Japanese mokuhanga printmaking.