Gerben Mulder


Throughout his career, Mulder (1972) has developed a body of work that establishes a dialogue with a tradition of European painting, which spans from Velázquez’s children to the distorted figures of Edward Munch. With an iridescent palette, his portraits, his flowers and still-life paintings emphasize psychological aspects (melancholy and euphoria) and a subjective dimension of the images. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith situates his most recent production in the gap between Raoul Dufy and Jackson Pollock. That is, between an essentially figurative painting with traditional themes on the one hand, and abstract expressionism on the other. His new works radically emphasize the materiality of painting, being conceived in a physical way. The gesture is strikingly wide, quick, and omnipresent. The spiral brush strokes, graphic-like, retro modernist mark-making bring a contemporary edge to this genre.

Gerben Mulder’s paintings are of figures caught at the moment of contorted darkness with their bodies and their desires hanging out in a ripe suggestive manner. The obtuse sexuality and hints of sorcery are all part of Mulder’s painting language that explores the darker side of the human experience. The disturbing line between painful and sweet, death and beauty, has been the main theme throughout the career of the artist.

Mulder has exhibited throughout the world in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including The 1st Liverpool Biennial – Liverpool UK, Kunstverein Cologne – Cologne Germany, Boston University Gallery – Boston USA, Kunsthal Kade – Amersfoort The Netherlands, the Museum of Contemporary art – Tucson USA (MOCA Tucson), Galerie Michael Janssen – Cologne Germany, Galerie K4 – Munich Germany, Galerie Isabel Surret – Paris France, Tokyo Auction House – Tokyo Japan, Marisa Newman Projects – NY USA, CUNY Museum – Queens USA, among others.

His work was presented at main art fairs like Art Basel, Art Basel Miami, The Armory show, and Frieze (London & New York) and is part of public and private collections in the USA, Europe, South America and Asia. Mulder spends his Time between New York and Rio de Janeiro.