Carole Vanderlinden (b. 1973, Belgium)
Carole Vanderlinden: Reflections on her recent works during an animated studio visit
It is rare to encounter the kind of artist with no fixed style, unafraid to give up the work's initial recognizability and paint in a straightforward way, out of necessity. Carole Vanderlinden belongs to this group. During my visit at her bright studio in Royal Laken, it immediately became clear that she doesn't care about being artistically trendy, she paints 'hands-on' in formats ranging from tiny to monumental. She finds inspiration in the moment itself and carries a small booklet with shapes and illustrations that could become an alibi for a painting. I scan one work after another, the painter’s surprising and, at the same time, very literal 'pictorial' walk, back and forth, linking banal encounters of forms and figures with complex-relevant painting that, in full 'eclecticism', suggests a kaleidoscopic sequence of modern painting.
Carole Vanderlinden's strategy is unbound, she sets out like a beachcomber, aimlessly in search of something that's hard to find in everyday circumstances. Out of changing backgrounds on the canvas, where some can already find subtle references to recent painting history, figurations emerge that zigzag along motifs of textiles, folk art, flowers and untraceable, yet slightly recognizable, shapes.
It is a pleasure to observe the performance of Carole and her productive output, at first sight it is as if her works are part of a group exhibition. Her oeuvre is a delightful mix of colors that appear as faded administrative colors but also as vibrant color nuances that, in the case of the color red, generate such an energy they almost become unbearable.
In the current state of contemporary painting, her pictorial production can be regarded as downright unique. She doesn't get carried away in stories or anecdotes that can quickly become boring or instantly ruin the mystery of the painting.
In her work, Carole Vanderlinden knows how to let painting itself 'speak out'. In the nooks and crannies of her tangled compositions, shapes and amazingly beautiful colors create unspoken and heart-warming innuendo within the canvas. They do not demand 'aha moments', they simply 'are' and position themselves as vulnerable and 'out in the open' based on particular intentions.
Her works can be approached each time again, painting after painting, freely interpretable as imaginative unique adventures that avoid the thought of a mechanically produced series of works.
From the depths of painting, Carole Vanderlinden juggles and improvises as she pleases with well-placed and edited motifs. For the viewer, this interplay results in a game between plasticity and a broad range of primary and secondary thoughts.
There are no conceptual troubles attached to her work; Carole Vanderlinden knows how to protect her painting from control, definitions and 'boxes'.
Her art is a tribute to the imaginative freedom. She takes this resistant stance by adopting a totally free attitude and not letting herself be swayed by today's mainstream.
Her oeuvre is like a dissonant symphony in which incomparable colors create the 'timbre' for composition-focused paintings that resemble free-jazz and noise music.
The noise meanders like a sweet undercurrent that saves the paintings from all kinds of false misunderstandings, statements and interpretative enslavement.
“Le montage permet de voir les choses et non plus de les dire”. (Jean-Luc Godard, 1980)
Text: Luk Lambrecht (30.07.2021)
Translation: Mathias Swings