In The Negotiator series, 2021-2023, artist Anna van der Ploeg explores the concept of hidden human interactions, how particular words and body language interpret human behaviour – how small truths play out in human interactions.
The Negotiators (2021) print was made during Anna’s first collaboration with the David Krut Workshop and printer Roxy Kaczmarek as part of the publication of five new etchings during her short-term residency in January 2021. The body of work was shown at her first solo exhibition with David Krut Projects titled Visitor later that year.
We were privileged to have had Anna return to the studio in December 2022 to begin her second residency. Three more images were added to the series and were completed in January 2023. These prints along with the larger body of work will be featured in Anna’s second solo exhibition at David Krut Projects titled Omens in hot bacon contradiction, opening in May 2023, as well as at the Latitudes art Fair, May 2023, and will be exhibited at the David Krut New York Gallery in June 2023.
Anna van der Ploeg, Antilogic is the dance of the dog in hell happy to any food that grows, but do they not say the same for the dog in heaven?, 2023, (detail), Hardground, liftground and spitbite aquatint etching with drypoint on paper, Edition of 18, Size: 65.4 x 101.4 cm
For printmakers collaborating with an artist who has in depth sculptural and printmaking experience it means we are able to and eager to explore deeper technical approaches in the work. Anna’s Negotiator Series has a classic quality to the etching, exploring tone and line simply in monochrome, allowing the viewer to engage deeply with the variety of marks. She guides the viewer through the image with soft watery tones, clean gestural lines, carved and sculpted drypoint marks. She is careful and considered when mark making. In the aquatint or liftground technique she is dedicated to her painterly mark – she chooses to use a particular Japanese style brush. Fat rounded but with a long tip.
Antilogic is the dance of the dog in hell happy to any food that grows, but do they not say the same for the dog in heaven? (2023) references an image taken of Roxy’s wild border-collie running straight at Anna while she was taking pictures of a couple holding hands from under a glass table.
Anna van der Ploeg, That hot bacon smell of pure contradiction, 2023, Hardground, liftground and spitbite aquatint etching with drypoint on paper, Edition of 18, Size: 65.4 x 101.4 cm
The tendrils of smoke in That hot bacon smell of pure contradiction (2023) are made using sandpaper and drypoint tools forming a fine solid of smokey ink particles. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But what’s burning is uncertain. Little slips of paper, like notes or discarded fortunes lie on the floor and appear in the process of spontaneous combustion.“
In the print Yes I heard you thinking of me did you hear me laughing (2023) Anna conveys the privacy and solace of connection. Anna shared a preparatory sketch of this work with an artist friend. She had been thinking of this friend while making the work. The friend sent back a sketch from her own journal, of a remarkably similar image of girl and frog which she had drawn a while earlier. This experience reflects the unseen and seen human relationship which the series explores.
Anna van der Ploeg, Yes I heard you thinking of me did you hear me laughing, 2023, Hardground, liftground and spitbite aquatint etching with drypoint on paper, Edition of 18, Size: 65.4 x 101.4 cm
Aside from her skills as a painter and sculptor, van der Ploeg is an accomplished printmaker. She studied printmaking in her degree and subsequently participated in residencies in France, India and Japan where she worked with Mokuhanga, a water-based woodblock printmaking technique. This ancient technique lends itself to building up many layers of colour, creating depth while maintaining subtlety. The experience as a whole was illuminating and humbling: sowing seeds that will hopefully grow as her practice moves forwards.
Anna completed her Master of Fine Arts in Belgium in 2021, where she graduated with high distinction from KASK Royal Academy School of Arts, Belgium, and was awarded the Legate De Leu prize for Fine Arts. The body of work she made there focused on large painted wooden sculptures.
For more information on available works contact [email protected].
And read more about the series of Monotypes made during this same residency here: