Marc Mulders and Claudy Jongstra

Mapping out Paradise

5 July - 16 November 2008

De Pont presents the first, major Gesamtkunstwerk of visual artist Marc Mulders (1958) and designer/artist Claudy Jongstra (1963).

Marc Mulders has been known for years for his expressionist oil paintings in which the beauty of nature coincides with the rediscovery of a distinct catholic imagery. These last years next to paintings, he focuses on leaded windows, which also perspire present times after 9/11 having as highlights the commemoration window in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam on the occasion of the 25 th anniversary of the regency of Queen Beatrix (2005) and the Last Judgment for the Sint Jan Kathedraal in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (2007). 

Claudy Jongstra is one of major felt artists in the world. In the late nineties her felt designs were used for the costumes of the Star Wars movie. Ever since that time her carpets, clothing, curtains and furniture are in the top regions of Dutch design. Her monumental, architectonical felt installations have found their way to the Public Library in Amsterdam, the government Catshuis in The Hague and the city hall/library/theatre Huis voor Cultuur en Bestuur in Nijverdal. De Pont presents her debut of free works of art.

Mapping out Paradise is the largest joint project of Marc Mulders and Claudy Jongstra. Both artists are committed to propagate optimistic views throughout the world. They believe that unrest and provocation as former avant-garde characteristics have become obsolete.

The fifty meters long installation meanders through the main hall of De Pont and consists of wall-high hand-made felt panels in sparkling colors based on the reflection of sunlight on splashing water. The soothing softness and tactility of the felt is in strong contrast with the expressive silk-screen and painted leaded windows in which Mulders calls up new and old visions of heaven and hell. With their craftsmanship they develop the ancient mystical path of chastening and contemplation and give a three-dimensional variation on the old-fashioned still life.

Mulders combines universal paradisiacal creatures like peacocks, butterflies and irises and vanitas symbols with modern icons and uncontrollable present events. His skulls covered with colored splashes are a parody on ‘For the love of God’, the hundred million dollar skull of Brit Art king Damien Hirst, fully covered with diamonds. Top-class soccer player David Beckham poses as modern reincarnation of Jesus. Through this the purple and virgin white whirlpools of Jongstra meander like an eternally flowing river. Jongstra wants to get people to appreciate the richness of natural colors again, for ‘the excess of stimuli has made us color blind’. Inside the installation the changing incidence of light plays a major part.