Christian Rex van Minnen Works with Limestone and Opens "Works on Paper" @ Julien Cadet Galerie, Paris
Christian Rex Van Minnen is currently working hard to finalize one of his most unique solo-shows to date, Works on Paper, which will open on the 9th of May @ Julien Cadet Galerie in Paris. This exhibition will include a series of oil-based ink and gouache monotype works, the latest examples of his mind-blowing small scale watercolors, and his first ever limited edition lithographs created and produced especially for this showcase.
Van Minnen is best known for his mind-boggling oils in which he utilizes the tricks and techniques of the old masters to construct the most exceptional surreal scenes and characters that are regularly adorned with numerous references to dark moments of history and questionable events of the present day. As a genuine fan of art, this Colorado-born artist likes to experiment with other mediums and techniques, and after recently introducing his first collaborative sculptural works with Aaron Johnson, Works on Paper was simply a logical step forward.
"I’ve learned to not force the language of oil painting onto these mediums but to try to bring out what is unique to each medium," Van Minnen said to Juxtapoz, explaining his approach to this new body of work. Introducing some new concepts - from realistic portraits of blood-covered ultimate fighters, over atmospheric still life compositions, abstract creations, to a mix between classical portraiture and cartoonish imagery - the pieces in this show are very different from one another and his signature body of work. By trying to master each technique and its unique characteristics, he is creating images around those elements that are creating the most unexpected results.
Along with the unique monotype works produced in his California studio and the watercolor paintings that he's working on while traveling, Van Minnen's Paris residency included work on his first limited editions produced at the legendary Idem Paris print house.
"I’ve been holding off on doing an edition only because I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to do something unique, something handmade, something original, and the invitation to come to work at Idem in Paris was just that," the artist said, as he explained why he still hasn't done a limited edition release after all these years.
When asked if working at such a historic landmark affected him in any way, he told us: "In so many ways! Making lithographs in this centuries-old way, on the same Bavarian limestones that have literally held the marks and gestures of the greatest artists of the past 200 years, is really intimidating and intense, extremely unpredictable and challenging at times, but altogether, a great honor. It's a really unique medium and it took a few attempts to start understanding how the medium works and how it translates once the stone is passed through the presses. After a couple of weeks working there, I’m starting to see just how much is possible with the medium. It’s been an amazing experience and honor to work with the people at Idem and in that studio that has such an incredible history and expertise."––Sasha Bogojev
Christian Rex Van Minnen opens his latest exhibition at Julien Cadet Galerie on May 9, 2019, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. "Works on Paper" will be on public display from May 10, 2019, to May 19, 2019