Marjolein Rothman’s powerfully suggestive works are an inquiry into the nature of perception. Often fashioned in series, her portraits, and paintings of architectural monuments and buildings, are geometrically shaped, fragmentary, and rendered with minimal depth in a spare, sober palette. Devoid of the compositional detail that conventionally directs the viewer’s interpretation, Rothman’s portraits and scenes of people capture mood and feeling through posture or gesture. Evidence of her early training as a photographer, her images seem to loom out of and disappear into their ground, frozen in a state of becoming like photographs forming in a dark room. Her bleached out paintings on canvas or aluminium, based on photos, comprise a series of rapid brushstrokes that are repeatedly wiped away and redone in her search for the image’s essence, which often lends the works an ephemeral character as if they are present and not present at the same time. Recently her attention has turned to flowers, incorporating brighter colours in a profound engagement with painting itself and the tradition of the still life. Through a process of reduction and obfuscation, Rothman’s images deconstruct the stability of historical truth, and invite viewers to explore the illusory aspects of knowledge itself.
Rothman was born in 1974 in Eibergen, The Netherlands. Rothman received her education at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Enschede, The Netherlands, 1994-1999 and was an Artist in Residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, 2003-2004. She has been awarded The Royal Prize for Painting, 2004 and the Buning Brongersprijzen, 2004. She lives and works in Amsterdam.
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