Spacial tromp l'oeil

Job Koelewijn, Jump (2005)

In the same way that a poet renders his thoughts in concentrated form in poetry, Job Koelewijn brings life back to its essence in his visual work. Depending on the idea he has in mind, Koelewijn always chooses a fitting medium and material. Thereby, he doesn’t bother much about traditional art disciplines. For his final project in 1992 he asked his mother and three aunts to clean the windows of the Rietveld pavilion in traditional Spakenburg attire. With this big spring cleaning, Koelewijn bids farewell to his Reformed childhood in Spakenburg and his education. At the same time he pays tribute to Gerrit Rietveld’s clear, functionalistic architecture.

In the winter of 2004-5 Museum De Paviljoens organised the solo exhibition People can only deal with the fantasy when they are ready for it: Job Koelewijn 1992-2004. Highlight of this exhibition was an installation constructed from 120.000 beef cubes wrapped in pieces of paper featuring poems that were selected by Koelewijn. The poetry of, amongst others, Marsman, Kopland, Van Ostaijen, Lucebert and Beckett was “enhanced” by the smell of broth. With this monument, Koelewijn wanted to surround the visitor with physical and spiritual life force. Broth and poems as “food” for body and mind. Broth is a concentrated elixir of life; by drinking the powerful broth you can survive physically. Poems reflect knowledge, feelings and experiences in concentrated form. The installation of beef cubes was created with help from 1600 students of the Baken Park Lyceum in Almere.

In 2006, Museum De Paviljoens purchased the installation Jump for The Collection Almere. The visitor who opens the door to this room awaits a surprise. Suddenly you’re standing in the middle of a vast polder landscape with a small ditch. You can smell the grass and clay soil. The walls of this room are made out of mirrors. This makes it seem as if the landscape continues endlessly. Leaping over the ditch brings back memories of our childhood years. In Jump, various themes from Koelewijn’s oeuvre come together. Furthermore, the work joins a long-standing tradition in art in which the Dutch landscape takes centre stage.

Recently, Job Koelewijn was awarded the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 2006 for his “richly variegated, poetic oeuvre”. In the jury report, Professor Carel Blotkamp typifies Koelewijn’s work as follows: “Koelewijn intervenes, isolates, frames and immobilises in order to generate a meditative experience of space and time. It is as if he is saying that art can make everyday reality into a miracle, into a revelation.”

Job Koelewijn, Jump
Job Koelewijn, 1962, Spakenburg, the Netherlands
Jump, 2005
acquisition 2006, Museum De Paviljoens

Website Job Koelewijn at Gallery Fons Welters