Michael van Ofen

Haus Esters

At first glance there is something slightly bourgeois about Michael van Ofen’s oil paintings. Yet there is also something peculiar about them, something conceptual, which makes them appear almost as if they were not painted. These 15 works, grouped around three themes, initially appear adamantly representational. There are pictures of earth-colored landscapes cultivated by human hands and reminiscent of vast aerial photographs. There are seascapes painted to look like an erupting mixture of water and air. And finally, there are interiors that recall the ruins of Gothic cathedrals. To accentuate the conceptual character of his paintings, van Ofen has limited his palette; he has reduced it to one color for each set of themes. Nuanced shades with brown, green, and white are applied to huge landscape vistas; blue and white characterize the seascapes; reds and white inhabit the interiors.


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