2022, Empty Spaces, Ronchini Gallery

 Jade van der Mark, A place I call home, 2022. © The Artist and Ronchini, London




12/05/2022 – 05/08/2022

Ronchini is proud to present our first solo exhibition of Dutch artist Jade van der Mark. Working mostly with oil on canvas, van der Mark’s idiosyncratic style incorporates a rich palette with which she sculpts the pictorial material in the tradition of the impasto technique. The thick layers of oil painting allow the artist to draw the caricatural characters in decontextualized urban landscapes which compose her social satire. The title of the show “Empty Spaces” is therefore meant to denounce the hypocrisy of certain social situations.


Inspired by the tales of Roald Dahl which captivated her childhood, van der Mark resurrected her dormant passion for painting to become a storyteller who is not afraid of using an array of diverse colour palettes to represent the reality of society. Toxic environments, hypocritical reasonings, and spoiled behaviours coexist with misunderstood martyrs, friends you never met, and underrepresented voices in her crowded scenes, where figures are frozen amongst the chaos. Her works speak to an overwhelming sense of disconnect evident globally in contemporary society.

Aesthetically, the works are synaesthetic masterpieces, evoking all the senses. The evident rhythm in the works is reminiscent of the phonemes in Rap, the tremolo acoustics of Jazz, and the deep resonance of classical music that she listens to while painting. Fruit of the syncretism
between influences from Miles Davis to editorial fashion magazines, political activists such as Simone Veil, and inclusive of artists such as: Markus Lüpertz, Frank Auerbach and Duncan Grant; van der Mark has a style which is easily identifiable.

The eye ventures from one side to the other oscillating from detail to detail. This effect, deeply desired by the artist, is complemented with the fact that she hides portraits of notorious people as well as new forms of self-portraits in every composition, leaving the audience mesmerised with a

game of “Where’s Wally?”. She is interested in portraying a range of emotional and psychological states, evoking the coexistence of contradictory yet ambivalent feelings and attitudes.

In Freudian terms, van der Mark’s style is at the crossroad between the ID and the Superego. Cathartic, her work’s research embodies the wise words of Picasso “It took me four years to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child” through her idiosyncratic tactile vulnerability. 

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