Amsterdam-based artist and designer Maarten Vrolijk believes that art should make people’s everyday lives more beautiful through the many little details that evoke the unexpected. While strongly influenced by the natural world, Vrolijk is not on a quest to expose an imitation of the “real” world, but rather, is on an exploration of the simple, unequivocal, and often overlooked aspects: color, form, delicacy, strength, transparency, ephemerality, that provide a map to the fascinations we gravitate to when experiencing the world around us.
The volatility in accomplishing the exceptional thickness of his glass vases creates a risky balance between strength and delicacy. The thermal stress caused when trying to equalize the interior and exterior temperature of the cooling vessels, is fraught with the propensity for breakage. The success of Vrolijk’s glass pieces lie in the crystalline clarity posed against their substantial physical impact.
His bombastic ceramic vessels have a distinct aliveness as a result of Vrolijk’s mastery of impulse and intuition. Heavily scored and expressively painted, each has a particular personality that is, at once, playful and defiant.
Vrolijk’s greatest success, however, is the organic nature that he maintains throughout each work. Each form has an eccentricity achievable only by the hand of the artist. The jewel-toned fragments appearing like colorful melting ice on his glass vessels, and the otherworldly plant-like protrusions seemingly attaching themselves to or growing out of the ceramic vases, give way to an energetic rapture.
Vrolijk’s large-scale vessels have been collected and exhibited in several renowned international museums including the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Groninger Museum. Todd Merrill Studio is pleased to be the exclusive representative for Vrolijk’s work in the Americas.