30 October – 4 December
Opening: Friday 29 October 6 – 8pm
Hamish Morrison Galerie is delighted to present a new series of works on paper by Ronald de Bloeme in the gallery’s office space.
De Bloeme borrows freely from the worlds of advertising and commercial design. He takes logos that have numbed us with their ubiquity, manipulates them in Photoshop, and then turns the resulting compositions into large-format, glossy paintings that mimic the flatness of product packaging or billboards. In de Bloeme’s hands, these logos take on a life entirely separate from the one they were intended for: altered, undermined and infringed by his control over them. As a result, his images almost always seem familiar to us, without us ever quite knowing why – until we get home and pick up a tube of toothpaste, or a bank statement, or a pack of cigarettes.
More recently, de Bloeme has also been “censoring” his source imagery; working over his designs with enamel bands that take on the characteristics of masking tape or blacked out sections of official texts. This introduces a strong political element; by censoring these logos – many of which are global brands or media organisations that exercise huge power over us – he does to them what they do to our daily experience of the world.
The works on paper on display in the office bring these different aspects of his work together. Many of them still have a found logo as their source material. But they are freer than his large canvases: instead of the hard edges and meticulous surfaces, we clearly see evidence of the artist’s hand. De Bloeme also playfully undermines his chosen materials and his methodology. For example, he creates thick bands of enamel paint, which make perfect sense on larger paintings, but seem incongruous against the delicacy of paper. He also sands the paper – sometimes going right through it – to reveal layers of paint beneath.
These paperworks aren’t studies for larger paintings; they are works in themselves. They also seem to hold some vital clues about the direction in which de Bloeme is headed. He is an artist unashamedly committed to paint, but also one willing to question what his role is as a painter and how his work functions in the world.
Ronald de Bloeme was born in Leeuwarden, Friesland, The Netherlands, in 1971. Having studied at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, de Bloeme first came to Berlin for a residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in 2000. Ten years on, he has established a reputation as one of Berlin’s most promising painters. Solo exhibitions include the Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, and Berlinische Galerie, Berlin. His work is held in numerous public collections, including the Caldic Collection, Espacio 1414, San Juan, GASAG, Berlin, Stedelijk Schiedam, Berlinsche Galerie, Vattenfall and Rabobank. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Vattenfall Kunstpreis. He lives and works in Berlin.