by Zolo Press

Scrapyard Abstraction
Machteld Rullens
Zolo Press - 35.00€ -

Machteld Rullens' second publication with Zolo Press documents three years of works, friends & family moments, and travels in Senegal, NYC, LA, and Vincent van Gogh's house…

"A friend told me my works are "warmly laconic" without becoming ironic or cynical. They show serious material research with humor and a dark side. In this book, I share my personal life and way of working. It might clarify my obsession with art, art history, the studio, travels I made, and the way I use my analog camera. My work has become more mature and I've turned a little grey myself. In the work I use all the possibilities of the box. Paint and surface become one. The cardboard is not a background that is separate from the paint. In this way, I expand my visual research, which I do not only as a painter but also as a sculptor. The pictures taken over the past years were made while spending time in a small village in Senegal, in Vincent van Gogh's house, my studio in The Hague, Los Angeles, Brussels, and my friend's place in Germany." — Machteld Rullens

Machteld Rullens (born 1988 in The Hague, Netherlands) works with sculptural elements that have a strong link with painting but are rarely applied with a brush. She uses everything that's available and that reflects her basic mood. That mood is a reflection of the time and of the world that, in spite of all its beauty, is overstimulated and possible even bored. Her wall objects, made from found cardboard boxes and epoxy resin, are full of emptiness. Rullens started painting on cardboard boxes when she ordered art supplies for the studio and noticed that the boxes could be tackled in a far more aggressive and impulsive way than for example a blanc canvas. She shapes and rearranges the cardboard boxes, something that was once fragile into something sturdy, relating to elements of play, composition, and architecture.  

Bridget Mullen
Zolo Press - 50.00€ -

Bridget Mullen is the ruler of an unruly roost. Between 2021 and 2023, she gave birth to forty-seven paintings, each twelve-by-nine inches: kin ugly and cute, monstrous, fleshy, repulsive, droopy-eyed, and sneering as they cross the universal threshold into the no less frightening world that awaits. Birthday reunites Mullen's uncanny litter alongside a conversation between the artist and Lucas Blalock.

The paintings in New York-based artist Bridget Mullen's Birthday series utilize two distinct parameters to guide the creation of the iterative works: a vertical orientation at an intimate scale of 12 x 9 inches and a visualization of perhaps the ultimate creative act—the moment of birth. Through this consistent scale and thematic hyper focus, the artist employs endless formal variations in composition, color, and paint application. The result is a series of paintings that share a common structure yet champion individuality.

Contrasting colors provoke a visible tension, one that is at times compressed and, in other moments, elastic. Suddenly, abstract shapes come into focus as human anatomies, capable of expressing emotion. Undulating lines of various thicknesses and layered colors squeeze together, revealing peculiar faces and gestures that emerge from a central point. The repetition of thin lines creates a visual stutter of pigment, alluding to the passage of time or rapid movement.
The works in Birthday build on Mullen's practice, combining color, decisive mark-making, intuition, and experimentation to conjure psychedelic configurations. Sculptural dimensionality and flatness, representation and abstraction, and solidity and fluidity, serve not as dichotomies within these works, but as two complementary halves of a whole. Together, the forms and figures of the Birthday series are imbued with a sense of life, pregnant with agency and potential.

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