I could talk about the obvious, that Germaine Kruip’s Counter Composition (2008) strongly relates to the Stijl and that she was clearly inspired by Theo van Doesburgs Contra-Compositie. The Amsterdam based artist got her idea when she found material she wrote when she was thirteen about van Doesburg.
I could also talk about how a work that is so strongly inspired by a movement that happened more then 80 years ago can still exist in this time.
But to me this is not the most interesting part about Kruip’s work. I can see how Kruip’s work is also very related to now and to her other work, in dynamics and use of light. And I think it is very much acceptable to take inspiration out of other one’s work, if you can make something new and your own out of it. The work is only an echo of the original work of van Doesburg. Van Doesburg emphasizes that the colors, shapes and lines are forming a dynamic contrast, Kruip takes that even further by actually using movement.
The thing that really catches me, which is maybe also obvious, but therefore not less interesting, is the use of simple, subtle images, the silence of it.
Her work continually changes as the light changes, using reflections, movement and daylight. In most of her works she is using daylight and by catching it with mirrors or shapes it leaves shadows, the work changes by the minute as the reflection or shadow of the light does. It is serene, sensible and calm, which is very much my taste. It’s not screaming for attention, using bold images, referring to mass culture or other problems in the world. It’s silent and well thought, showing beauty in ordinary things.
I think that noise and action are overrated, but people do not seem to take silence. We are used to the noise, as we are all living in this over civilised world. Even now I’m sitting in my living room writing I hear cars, people closing doors, sirens, once in a while bird, people locking there bikes and this all within a minute. The same counts for images. We are overwhelmed with images.
We live in a world where everything and everybody is screaming, for attention, for power. We are constantly moving, faster and faster. There’s no time to stand still and think. We need to be amused and entertained the whole time and it seems that we got so scared of being bored. The images we see, in movies, tv and also in art, need to be stronger every time, because otherwise it won’t have any effect on us. Everything needs to be more violent, more sexual, more shocking. We’ve already seen it all. But this constant overflow of images is also tiring. Always moving and going forward, isn’t the solution for being bored, maybe it is even the cause.
So in this sense I find Kruip’s work a sigh of relief. Things that aren’t fast, or loud are a very nice change, images that give you space and time for your own thoughts and ideas. The images that Kruip uses are sober and simple. But therefore not less beautiful, actually in their simplicity they are particularly aesthetic, catching beauty in everyday life.
Then on the other hand her work also fits very well within this modern world. By using mirrors she is generating fragments of images, a blended image-stream. The shimmers of light could also be associated with city life. The reflection makes you aware of yourself and the other people viewing. Even the speed is quit fast. In Counter Composition the sculpture turning in less then 10 seconds. An other example is Reading Room, (2006-2009), which was exhibited in ‘the Paviljoens’ in Almere, a piece where a light spot circulates through a room, the light and shadow changes as with daylight, but much faster. You are confronted with time, the going of time. But it is also very familiar in this ever-turning world.
So maybe Germaine Kruip’s work is a combination, a combination of this very aesthetic subtlety with references to our fast moving environment. Maybe it is a modern silence.