TEXT

The work of Marie Reintjes is based on a large collection of images. This visual database contains photographs she makes while strolling, visiting a concert, viewing the Dutch landscape from above in a plane; shots of ‘everyday life’. It also contains the photographs from photo albums, which belong to her parents.

In a way, she paints an impression of an image and she uses a rapid movement of brush strokes in order to reach for its essence. Once she starts painting, she does not make corrections, the aim is to ‘drop the pencil at the right moment’. The manner in which she constructs the composition has an intrinsic link to the fact that she does not analyze or revise the brush strokes. The mechanics of painting plays an important role in her work. The speed of her movements, the paint and the canvas, all have to collide at a precise moment and produce the new image.

Recurrent themes of her paintings are childhood, nostalgia and melancholia. She attempts to reconstruct these ungraspable things and her interest shifts from the emotional sources to the formal aspect of painting a certain image. Landscapes and portraits are her genres, nuanced by adolescent memories, nostalgia, melancholia and loss.
The reference to her father is becoming increasingly important to her work. A lot of her recent paintings are made after photographs of his youth, his time in the army and his office life. This is becoming important because he is out of reach now, so all of the material there is left of him has become significant, even the ‘evidence’ of his every day life. In this light, her use of her father’s traces is an attempt to reconstruct his story, in order to prevent it from being forgotten.

Her sources do provoke emotion (for her), yet she strives to distant herself while painting. She expands the fragmentation between the emotional and the formal aspect of a painting. Her focus is on the painterly qualities and not on its subject: taking what is needed from the subject, while the rest is left out. All information that blurs the essence of the image is blocked. As a matter of fact, she leaves out a lot, but provides hints of a background. A background tells something about the context: some trees and rope tied to a wooden pole suggests that the event takes place in the woods at an encampment, and sometimes titles add another clue.
With a fluctuation from context to detail- as fragment of her photographic sources, she contains and leaves out fragments of the images and provokes meaning. Titles can hint to something the viewer does not know and makes his or her imagination run wild. Some clues are given, the context is hinted at, but she does not want to ‘give away’ the riddle entirely.