Marcel van Eeden
November 22, 1948
June 23–August 13, 2011
Sprüth Magers London is delighted to introduce the work of Dutch artist Marcel van Eeden with the exhibition ‘November 22, 1948’. For this latest installment of his work van Eeden has created a new series of drawings that reveal the artist’s ongoing exploration of the concept of narration through the lives of a range of semi-fictional characters and their global exploits.
Since 1993, van Eeden, a graduate of The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, has almost exclusively worked in ‘nero’ pencil to articulate a series of events that are part of a continuous yet inherently unstable narrative in constant flux. The resultant predominantly monochromatic images are stylistically reminiscent of ‘film noir’, and the accompanying text within the drawings crosses into the territory of the graphic novel. Van Eeden works to a series of self imposed rules: the paper he works on has been hand-cut to specific dimensions; he fills the picture diagonally starting from the upper-left-hand corner; and he has worked relentlessly to the rhythm of at least one drawing per day since 1993. However, the most crucial and revealing example of this regulatory approach is the conceptual decision to refer only to found images and textual sources that predate the artist’s birth date on November 22, 1965. Van Eeden is fascinated by this notion of absence, of ‘nonbeing’, as espoused in the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. For van Eeden, the time before his birth is equivalent to the time after his death: ‘When you were not yet around, it did not affect anyone, and when you will no longer be there, everything will, in fact, be the same.’