The Loose Architecture of Monique van Genderen

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For Abstract Expressionist Monique van Genderen, art and architecture are inextricably linked, existing in a divine symbiotic relationship–one that requires in-depth investigation. As part of her much-anticipated fourth show at Culver City’s Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, the artist does just that, exploring the way certain spaces make us feel and how they interact with one another. Her multi-layered paintings, bursting with saturated hues and loose geometric forms, are constructed to perfectly complement and heighten their surroundings. Here, we find gallery walls rearranged to divide the space in fascinating ways, providing miniature viewing rooms that become an integral part of the works themselves.

This play between art and architecture on display here is largely due to van Genderen’s alternating vertical and horizontal canvas orientations; they echo the very foundations of drawing and building with the post and lintel. One of the most alluring pieces in this series is a 40-foot horizontal painting comprised of ten smaller vertical ones. The artist’s gestural brushwork extends through all ten works, linking them together. Following this same pattern, the piece itself continues into the next miniature gallery space from behind an intersecting barrier wall.

Monique Van Genderen 2

Monique van Genderen, installation view, 2017. Courtesy of the gallery and Robert Wedemeyer.

To balance the overwhelming horizontal configuration of this work, many other paintings in this collection stretch from the floor to its 14-foot ceiling. Upon closer examination of these upright works, we can see traces of nature, including a prominent horizon line cutting many of the paintings’ lower quadrants. This masterful use opposing elements, as well as the shifting focus from large composite image to smaller details, creates a slightly alienating viewing experience. That’s intentional. The viewer is supposed to be unsure of where to look. The magic lies in the between the pieces and their components.

The clever way van Genderen has designed and placed her paintings encourages the viewer to consider the connection between art objects that may not actually touch, but they still inform one another, much like art and architecture.

Monique van Genderen
Through November 4, 2017
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
6006 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

Emily Nimptsch

Emily Nimptsch

Emily Nimptsch is a freelance arts and culture writer living in Los Angeles. She has written for Flaunt, ArtSlant, Artillery, and produced blog content for Venice Beach’s L.A. Louver Gallery.