Marcel van Eeden

Galerie Bob van Orsouw

For the Hague- and Berlin-based artist Marcel van Eeden, it seems, the word death refers to the time before one’s life as well as after its end. His “Encyclopedia of My Death” (as his body of work was once described by a curator—the name has stuck) is a lifetime’s work in progress: Since 1993 he has made at least one drawing a day, copying images from magazines, books, albums, postcards, and archives, all dating back to between the ’20s and 1965—the artist’s birth year. He intends to continue until his death (or should one call it “second death”?), in a resolute attempt to work against the irreversibility of time by appropriating images of a lifetime’s span before he was born.

But this description sounds more solemn than it really is. There is a dark humor in van Eeden’s drawings, all 7.5 x 11" and executed mostly in soft graphite pencil, and all sketched beginning in the upper left corner

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