Anna van der Ploeg: Omens in hot bacon contradiction
David Krut Projects, New York
June 8 – July 28, 2023
Reception: Thursday, June 15 from 6-8pm
David Krut Projects, New York is pleased to present Omens in hot bacon contradiction, a new body of work by Anna van der Ploeg including unique works and editions.
The table has long been the subject of Van der Ploeg’s work. It is an unassuming object of functionality and the site of art historical scenes of bounty and beauty. This body of work churns a more disquieting arena of dinner table talk and capricious human interactions.
Words and actions; two impulses separated into two feet – you are suddenly pushed from behind. Which foot steps forward to catch you? Your left foot is tied to the chair leg.
Traditionally, tableaux present a scene for a distant observer. Van der Ploeg’s works, while staging and positioning participants in a rehearsed scene, subvert the tableaux with angles that position the viewer dizzyingly within it. The images depict a constant tension, a push and pull, between individuals who simultaneously reveal and conceal in the dance of conversation and the uncertainty of a new social group. While a space for closeness, exploration, and unveiling narratives, it is also a space for “preserving strangeness”, maintaining a façade, and keeping with prescribed behaviors.
Van der Ploeg first created etchings at the David Krut Workshop (DKW) in Johannesburg in early 2021. Her print-based works continue to weave a narrative about reciprocity and its intricacies; hidden messages concealed in the smoke and the breeze. Omens in hot bacon contradiction includes new etching editions and unique paintings on paper made in collaboration with DKW printer Roxy Kaczmarek. Van der Ploeg is an accomplished printmaker herself, having studied printmaking and been awarded 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 color – creating depth while maintaining subtlety.
A sense of moodiness emerges from the etchings as they probe notions of performativity, concealment, and tenderness in social interactions, not only in their subjects but in the layering of different techniques, such as tonal aquatint layers integrated with subtle, suggestive drypoint marks. With imagery that evokes smoke signals or white flags of surrender, Van der Ploeg’s work delves into scenes of domesticity with a polaric, touching obscurity.
This presentation of Omens in hot bacon contradiction will follow Van der Ploeg’s exhibition of the same name opening at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg on May 20, 2023. For more information, please email [email protected].
Anna van der Ploeg (b. 1992) is a contemporary South African artist. Her professional practice is far-reaching, including but not limited to the mediums of painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Van der Ploeg has held several solo exhibitions, has shown in galleries locally and abroad, and has works in private collections and institutions, among which is the South African National Art Bank. She recently completed her MFA at KASK Royal Conservatory of Art in Belgium with high distinction. Though the catalyst to her work is loosely conceptual, her process is labor-intensive, perceptive, and specialized. As a figurative artist, she searches for new metaphors to convey insights about our common assemblies, to find rhythms in the motion of social, artistic, and intellectual contexts. She is currently based in Brussels at the 5-month-long M-residency.