JAN MULDER Am Rande der Nacht (On the Edge of the Night) 2006 - x +

CN: MulJ2006nach

MT: oil on canvas (70x60)

TX: inscribed with felt pen at rear upper center in Dutch <'AM RANDE DER NACHT' [erased] (THINKING OF NIGHT) / 2006 OIL ON CANVAS / JAN MULDER>

CT: Holland Tunnel Gallery, Brooklyn - 2009

CM: Jan Mulder's Am Rande der Nacht (On the Edge of the Night) is a series of works inspired from a poem of 1900 by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). Mulder related: "I make abstract landscapes in oil and watercolor, large as well as small paintings, in which space plays a role of central importance, and the passage of time is a recurring motif. The paintings, compositions on canvas and paper, refer to memorized or invented landscapes; precise descriptions of inner landscapes. Therefore, these pictures partly represent observed nature, the memory of its image, and are linked to subconscious experiences and impressions. Painting is, for me, a study that observes experiences, feelings and thoughts. I look at my paintings as I look at nature: at the changing of light, zooming in and out in space. I try to capture and freeze that sensation in a natural image. One brushstroke is an abstract mark and can at the same time represent an incident of nature. The abstract becomes concrete. The subject of Am Rande der Nacht is space and the change from light to dark or from dark to light. The theme can be viewed as a metaphor of change, moments in which more or less existential experiences occur. The painting refers to various manifestations and fragments of nature." § The Am Rande der Nacht series refers to a certain kind of romantic landscape painting. The main color scheme of the entire series is lemon yellow and black. Mulder mixed black with deep French ultramarine and raw umber in order - as the artist explains - through transparent paint to arrive at a penumbric atmosphere. Lemon yellow is a very bright and translucent color when used over white primer, but it also has a very good transparent quality when applied on other colors. This latter quality enabled Mulder to create transparent layers in various degrees of light and dark that evoked changing nuances of sunset and dawn. [Megakles Rogakos 24/04/2009]

"...Put differently: Jan Mulder's work keeps summoning up the abstract contents of memory. Let me give a few examples. Every single day the sun causes the unfolding of a cosmic drama on earth, one that is always and everywhere different. We may invoke a sunset by the sea for instance, in the fall, with heavy cumulus clouds, and the mountain range of some faraway island in the distant background; or perhaps a late night in the big city, the fading light fragmented by the craggy man-made cliffs and peaks, and thrown into the darkening channels of streets. Or one might think of a level plain reflecting the sun in one bright sweep, leaving the rest of itself in darkness; or of a yellow strip of beach. All are contrasts of light and dark, brightness and ‘the palpable obscure’ within a living, all-encompassing chaos. Does the human mind ‘remember’ any of this? Not in terms of nameable qualities, I believe, but as latent marks, as dormant features of life itself. Mulder’s paintings frequently offer both the igniting spark and its representation, and they do so over and over again. They produce the sensation that comes with the discovery of things which were thought to be lost. I believe this explains the paradoxical nature of the work: looking at it makes us feel surprised by what is familiar..." [H.J.A. Hofland The Multi-layered Imprint of Dreams in Jan Mulder: Paintings and Watercolors 1994-2006 2006, p.5]

"The Book of Images"

On the Edge of the Night

My room and this vastness,
awake over parroting land, -
are one. I am a string,
strung over rustling wide

The things are violin bodies,
full of grumbling dark;
inside the wifes' weeping is dreaming,
inside the rancour of whole dynasties
is stirring in the sleep...
I shall
shake silverly: then
everything underneath me will live,
and what errs in the things,
will strive after the light,
which falls from my dancing tone,
around which heaven waves,
through narrow, yearning cracks,
into the old
chasms without

R.M. Rilke, 12 January 1900, Berlin-Schmargendorf
© English translation by Philipp Kellmeyer

H.J.A. HOFLAND / D. NAHAS / R.C. MORGAN / R. BRENNAN / P. AUGUSTIJN / D. WELLING Jan Mulder: Paintings and Watercolors 1994-2006 2006 Optima, Vianen