ROTTERDAM.- Galerie Rianne Groen
presents the first solo exhibition of young talent Wouter van der Laan (1993). Van der Laan is currently studying at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen.
While making his recent work, Van der Laan investigated the happily ever after formula which is continuously used in classic Disney films. In these stories, several obstacles need to be overcome, after which the protagonists finally arrive at a happy end. But what happens after this so-called happy end? After everything that needed to be done is finished, the characters arrive at a metaphysical vacuum, in which there seems to be no reason left to undertake anything. When the story has finished, the universe looses its raison dêtre.
What follows is an almost inevitable existential boredom, as often encountered in the work of Samuel Beckett. In his famous play Waiting for Godot, the two protagonists wait infinitely for someone that will probably never arrive. In the meantime, they try to entertain themselves in all kinds of different ways. But in what world do they live, if this meantime never finishes?
The paintings of Wouter van der Laan function on the interface of this interim: a place in which nothing will happen, but still something has taken place. In his work, he also uses influences from the stylized visual culture of film noir and the suspense techniques often used in such films.
The figurative elements in his work show deserted spaces, in which objects are seemingly accidentally placed. By using various techniques, such as spray paint, Van der Laan evokes an almost clinical visual language, referring to the perfect animation worlds of Disney. By combining this with a more personal painters signature, he creates a tension within the painting in which the spectator can find his own place.