Everything is urgent and urgency is everything by Ko van ‘t Hek (Eng)

Everything is urgent and urgency is everything

Laurien Renckens   (1966, lives / works in Nijmegen)

Clean, often oblique lines and smooth surfaces characterize Laurien Renckens’ work. An effective combination of light colours and pastels with fluorescent colours. As a result, your attention is instantly drawn, on a subconscious level, towards these abstract canvasses and panels. Like aesthetic, visual sirens. 

We live in a world that is full of urgency: numerous crises, from the climate to the housing to the refugees’ crises. Because of the internet, we are incessantly informed about everything, launched at us like bright colours. Sometimes it is hard to handle; everything is urgent, everything is crucial. Renckens’ work appeals impeccably to those emotions. Her research topic is: what colours and which combinations evoke this sense of urgency? 

She starts with a colour or a shape, and, subsequently, investigates what it is that the work requires. It is a subtle game of adding and omitting, of how colours and lines interact with one another. With her work, Renckens, resolutely, reclaims the notion of urgency. She releases the urgency from its sense of oppression and reverses it to a force for the good, a motivation or even an intention: what can I contribute?  Renckens’ answer to that question is a heartfelt: to paint. It typifies the work ethic of the autodidact who, soon after having graduated as a speech therapist, completely focused on painting. 

Her abstract works include lines that wish to transcend the framework that fences them in; colours expressing rage because of being stuck together within the same panel and, out of discomfort, start dancing with each other, tape, once used for drawing the lines, and now having received a new function. It adds a note of spontaneity to the work, plays around with expectations. This is done for a reason, for in the split second you need to ask yourself whether you are looking at a finished artwork, new room is created to look at the work with fresh eyes. 

Although urgency may come across as a heavy topic, Renckens’ work is positive and alluring, with bright colours and clean lines. Using as little as possible, she creates a strong image and pulls the spectator towards her, only to hit him with that one single question: what does urgency mean to you? 

Ko van ’t Hek

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