Marjolein Rothman: Reversed Grounds

8 October - 5 November 2022

Albada Jelgersma Gallery is proud to present Reversed Grounds, a solo exhibition with new paintings by Marjolein Rothman. In the gallery’s final exhibition, Rothman casts the ancient flower motif in a new light. Reversed Grounds presents a series of small, intimate paintings in muted colors where subject matter and background shift. With these works, Rothman continues her examination of the nature of perception and the tenets of painting as a medium. 


Still lifes never lacked movement with their reference to the transience of life and earthly pleasures, sometimes symbolized by butterflies and varied insects. The paintings in Reversed Grounds equally show continuous activity. Colors sizzle; colour fields blur. In these paintings. Rothman has used only two colors on an aluminum ground that, depending on the lighting and the position of the viewer, reflects the image in a different manner. 


Marjolein Rothman’s paintings are both gestural and a reference to photography. Similar to the mechanics of analogue photography, Rothman uses light to capture and isolate a specific moment when an experience of reality is shown. The paintings are made in one session by using single brushstrokes and sweeping movements that leave the act of painting visible as a performative action: the image is fixated at the very moment it comes to light. 


Rothman’s approach can also be seen as analytical, because of the thorough manner in which she dissects her subjects, examines and categorizes them, just as a botanist would do. She takes one step further though, by reducing her subjects to their bare essence, and by doing so, she questions their status and her own position in the tradition of painting. Her working method contains a paradox: whilst deconstructing her images, she returns to the same image over and over, giving it attention and bringing it to life anew. This process implies care and exposes a desire to make something bloom: something new, lively, and unforeseen. Painting as gardening. The result is a body of work that resonates with the unstable manner in which our visions; our ideas and desires take shape.


Marjolein Rothman (Eibergen, NL1974) received her education at the AKI, Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Enschede, Netherlands and was an Artist in Residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. In 2004, she was recipient of both The Royal Prize for Painting and the Buning Brongersprijzen. She is represented by Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, and lives and works in Amsterdam.