“I like to take an existing image as a point of departure for my work. That means there’s always another maker involved. (…) To me, an image in a book or on a screen is part of the physical reality we create and surround ourselves with. I use the time I spend in my studio to look at these images and make them my own.” Marijn van Kreij, 2018
About the artist
Marijn van Kreij is an investigative artist who has his own very distinct visual language. In his works, consisting of drawings, paintings, collages, videos and installations, the process of duplication plays a key role. What is a key character in his work is the artist’s contemporary stance demonstrated in the way he raises ‘non-subjects’ and ordinary details to the level of art, as well as in his manual approach to appropriating images amidst the current age of digital and online visual culture. Reflecting on ideas around repetition and autonomy, his work often forms a response to existing works of art or involves collaborations with other artists, designers, writers or musicians.
A pivotal body of work in van Kreij‘s oeuvre are his small scale drawings: at first sight they might appear to be made from studio leftovers: cut-out bits of texts, images, cartoons, and art world paraphernalia are glued together on coloured paper or combined with drawings. It’s as though Van Kreij put them there as casual sketches—small attempts testing out an artistic intuition that became manifest in the margins of his painting practice. Yet as one looks at these works a little longer, it becomes clear that their simplicity is deceptive. Their haphazard appearance is the careful outcome of a concentrated process of looking, thinking and feeling. They are miniature visual poems that open up a special imaginative space in the mind of the viewer, and what they offer is much more than a visual pun.
“The potential clatter, as well as the borrowed and invented phrases or would-be aphorisms that populate many of his drawings, indicate his interest in facilitating outside incursions into his visual art practice. This is a stance counter to notions of art as some kind of sanctified realm.” Camila McHugh, 2022
Nude in the Studio, 2018Spiral bound postcard book published on the occasion of the exhibition Nude in the Studio at Marres, Maastricht. Design: Akiko Wakabayashi.
Reclining Nude with a Man Playing the Guitar, 2016Published as part of the ABN AMRO Art Award 2016 and accompanying the exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam, this artist book brings together all ‘Picasso grids’ to date and incorporates contributions by Nickel van Duijvenboden, Bettina Funcke and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang. Design: Irma Boom Office, Irma Boom and Akiko Wakabayashi Selected for The Best Dutch Book Designs, 2016
How to Look Out, 2011Artist book as well as catalogue published to accompany the exhibition How to Look Out at De Hallen Haarlem. With an interview by Nickel van Duijvenboden and an essay by Xander Karskens.
The Passenger, 2011Published on the occasion of the exhibition "The Passenger" at Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam.
O Let It Be, 2008Artist book with drawings, photographs and collages, published as part of the Uriot Prize 2006 Editing and design in collaboration with Adriaan Mellegers. Selected for The Best Dutch Book Designs, 2008