Cornelie Samsom on Master/ Pupil #9, Kunstpodium T, Tilburg
“Open minded” is a term that can be applied literally to an artist’s brain Lighting, drifting plastic, the movements made by a loved one or passers-by, a conversation, a word printed on a receipt: anything can inspire work. Everyday impressions blend in with memories and knowledge, creating a whirlwind of information from which a form is distilled. But in a world that has everyone plugging on as if nothing ever deviates from normality, this overload of wonder can be isolating.
Artist Karin van Pinxteren’s work is situated where intimacy and isolation meet. With their clear-up graphic design, her installations translate, but mostly showcase, hesitant attempts toward human contact. Van Pinxteren peels off her studio’s rich world until a stark room is left, in which the visitor knows what to do – inhale with me – but which also leaves him secluded, watching himself.
With her work, Van Pinxteren refers to realms – relations, symbolism – that in the art world have been tarred with the brush of cliché. She studies human contact in a way that is both formal and symbolic, without casting aside her sensitive soul. It takes some daring in an age where ‘myself and the other’ is largely met with allergic frigidity.
At the academy, I was looking for a form to express suppressed relational aggression. I tried the opposite: drawings of shouting heads. While I was hanging them up to be assessed, I thought: they’re like Freddy Mercury in labour. The teacher was diplomatic in her summary: ‘It’s not quite to my taste.’ But her tired look told me it was bad.
Representing human relations is one of the greatest challenges in the visual arts. Van Pinxteren succesfully brings the dynamics between people to still life. In the process, she handles big themes just so, that the material lives on in the spectator’s mind, without the work’s own gravity crushing it on the spot. Props, Karin.