Residency #2 – Jan Willem Maris


For the second residency in Saint-Nazaire Bureau Doove is happy to invite Dutch artist Jan Willem Maris. In his paintings, photo’s, constructions and installations, Maris investigates space, both in its private and public appearances. He questions how they operate emotionally.

Public squares with which he has a specific affinity, represent both freedom and security. It’s no coincidence that they play an important role in processes of change all over the world. These kinds of conflicting emotions are used in the series ‘Shelter’ for which he applied an intricately layered multidisciplinary process. The idea that from a shelter the outside world can be experienced as both threatening and luring while the shelter not necessarily is a perfect shield, stood at its base. Taking an existing square as a point of departure, Maris subsequently built a model in bamboo and coloured paper to be able to feel this space closer at hand. This construction was then used as a projection screen for videos with the footage of the effect of these projections being processed in the series of paintings.

Often space is thus defined through unlikely means, observations slightly out of centre. For instance by focussing on the electrical wiring in a room or other space. Likewise, the recent series ‘Spots’ defines space through the ephemeral presence and quality of light that penetrates through its boundaries, reflecting on and playing with other parts of the investigated space. In all cases an uncanny kind of tension is either observed or created.

During his first residency at Saint-Nazaire from 5 June Maris will explore its specific spaces and surroundings.


Wires 7, oil on canvas, 70 x 85 cm, 2017

Light Spots: The Black Paintings 01, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm, 2018

Light and Dark Spots no. 8, oil on canvas, 53 x 73 cm, 2019

Bright Light 10, The Black Paintings, oil on canvas, 43 x 60 cm, 2019

Evening Light Spots no. 11, The Black Paintings, oil on canvas, 90 x 120 cm, 2019

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