Marilou Van Lierop

Marilou van LieropPaintingDrawingVideoInstallation ViewPhoto Works

Marilou van Lierop since °1957

Marilou van Lierop, Artist based in Antwerp

Van Lierop’s paintings of crowds form networks. In some cases this is emphasized with the introduction of lines painted between depicted figures, or left un-delineated. They are instead implied by elements in paintings that draw together the attention of people.

First of all she has also carried similar ideas into other media. Early examples of this work are untitle. Where the artist has chosen an enigmatic quality of the image to remain un-named. Any gleaned excitation or ennui in the viewer is coupled with giving an eponymous role over to him or her. The paintings are done largely in grey tones, and where the strands are represented, by lines. Different examples show various instances of linkage with different emphases. “

Marilou van Lierop, imagery work


“Especially Later works such as these are larger in size, they represent a greater scale of crowds, employ more diverse imagery, and some contain titles. There is advancement in the type of imagery displayed in the work. From modest-sized realist paintings containing deliberative pictorial additions to fantastic and symbolic-like compositions in subtly different styles. The features of van Lierop’s paintings that act as supplemental devices linking figures, white lines, flat planes of white, remain in some of the later paintings.

As a result they are often less emphatically part of the picture, rather they isolate individuals or small groups within a larger setting. Works such as Mountain of Happiness of 2010, or Mountain of Happiness/sea of 2011. They show such a progression. Detailing of white abstract lines between figures in 2010 reveals an integrated pictorial function, with the exception of a single spot-lighted figure in the foreground. In 2011 largely discrete groupings of people are selected for white outline, providing a flatness that highlights the idea of a figure/ground relation within a general aerial perspective.

Another development probably showing the feature progressively minimized can be seen in two related works, respectively: White Suburbia of 2012 and White Suburbia 2 of 2015. The earlier painting, populated with a combination of surreal faces and dark passages, as well as naturalistically rendered human figures, is gathered together with the aid of white curves and implied angled rectilinear structures.

Foreshortened swirl

The later painting is organized around a foreshortened swirl of a crowd on flat farming land. Centred in the swirl is a round dark build-up suggesting intense activity, figures painted in the surrounding area are either washed out in the background, in the foreground they fork into the composition with greater pictorial resolution.

Surrounding rectilinear structures and curved lines open up the cluster to a larger dynamic flow. The sense of movement in the crowd, corresponding to something unknown but compelling, takes over from focus on representing, openly, its different characters. The more general and provisional the structure of the crowd, the more anonymous its source of interest becomes…

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