The solo exhibition Déjà Vu by Paul Drissen opens on Saturday October 7. Some of his new paintings and collages will be on display in the gallery. His solo, entitled Short Cuts, is currently also running in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, and an artist’s book with the same title has been published in collaboration with Irma Boom.
The Kröller-Müller Museum describes the oeuvre of Paul Drissen (Oirsbeek, 1963) as a nostalgic desire to be part of the abstract tradition from Henri Matisse to Lygia Clark. In paintings of casein and pigment, spatial paper collages and cuttings, he brings well-known forms from historical abstraction to the present. ‘I am looking for a role for myself in a tradition that is full of utopian thinking that is now unimaginable,’ says Drissen. ‘I want to bring that naive, but also hopeful ambition back to the surface, not as a message but emotionally, as a sentiment.’
To evoke that subcutaneous feeling, the artist improvises and explicitly allows chance. Drissen is not a purist, with him many things can pass for painting, such as printed pieces of fabric, an assembly of wooden slats or an archive box with scraps of paper. The informal or ‘sloppy’ is a key theme in his work. Everything, even the smallest detail, is equally important; careless splashes of paint, carelessly forgotten corners or a loose hanging crooked thread. Drissen assumes that a work is not ‘made’ but reveals itself during a largely unconscious and irrational work process.
Drissen lives and works in Maastricht. After studying at Ateliers 63 in Haarlem, now De Ateliers in Amsterdam, he exhibited three times at art & project in Rotterdam and Slootdorp between 1991 and 1997 and at Greta Meert in Brussels in 1996. In the same year he had a solo with paintings and drawings in the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and in 2005 his first museum overview in the Stadsgalerij Heerlen, now Schunck, under the title Melodernia, with a catalog of the same name published. His solo exhibition Short Cuts is currently running at the Kröller-Müller Museum until January 14, 2024.
His work is included in important public collections such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Kunstmuseum The Hague, Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, Schunck Heerlen, Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo, as well as art collections of DSM, NOG and ABN AMRO. Since 1999, Drissen has exhibited regularly at Slewe Gallery in Amsterdam.