Painting and sculpture are closely connected in Coen Vunderink’s studio practice. Sculptural works function as a motif in his paintings, while he takes a painterly approach to many of his sculptures. The impetus for this cross-pollination is Vunderink’s interest in the genesis, the creation of the work of art, and the interplay of forces that comes into effect to enable this process. His recent paintings, created with spray paint, home in on the dualism between figure and ground, between monochrome and stereoscopy, in painted constellations that appear to vibrate gently.
Using bare canvas as both the medium and the first layer, Vunderink applies vibrating layers of spray-painted photographic negatives picturing everyday objects and materials like carpets, lace, flowers or doormats. This creates photogram-like, monochrome imagery that is both familiar and abstract. To these images, Vunderink adds sparse, expressive brushstrokes, using traditional homemade egg tempera because of its transparency and subdued lighting.
Classifying Vunderink’s work is difficult, and quite deliberately so. For at its heart is the interplay between mediums and art forms such as sculpture, photography and painting. By using photographic and sculptural works as source material for his paintbrush-and-egg-tempera paintings, he straddles the line between material and image, figuration and abstraction, tradition and modernity.
Vunderink’s artistic methods have evolved intuitively and experimentally. Yet the works they create have a deliberate duplicity that serves to express the artist’s ambivalence about both reason and emotion, or order and chaos, as well as his wonder at life and the possibilities of art.