Jonathan van Doornum mainly works as a sculptor and installation artist. His work consists of elements based on the urban Dutch landscape to everyday objects. In Van Doornum’s oeuvre, it is remarkable that the division between interior and exterior is very present. In this exhibition, he continues to work on this subject.
The artist was born and raised in Mariënberg, a small Dutch village, and is strongly influenced by this in his work. In a modest way he criticizes the traditional village mentality. Van Doornum applies a self developed form language on objects that can be found in every average Dutch household such as a kitchen cabinet, a towel rack, a TV antenna. The artist succeeds in transforming banal objects into alienating forms that doubt their own functionality. On the other hand, he also attaches importance to ideas of the small society in which he grew up. In this way religion can in no case be excluded from his work. He is not talking about the literal meaning of faith but about the efficiency and importance of traditions that accompany it. He asks the question what else remains of the mentality in which he grew up and what consequences are involved.
The largest sculpture in this space “How we used to do, how we do and how we will always do” literally works as a subdivision between sculptures with a household character and artworks in which he reflects on society. He underlines this by adding unmistakable forms such as moons and leaves to his sculptures that emphasize the exterior character. The artist often uses literal symbolism in his work. Van Doornum determines the look of his work in an intuitive way. Because he often works with contemporary industrial materials, the spatial collages have a rather clinical effect. His sculptures can be experienced very differently.
Some of his sculptures have an aggressive character due to the sharp points, tight shapes and the use of aluminum. On the other hand, many works radiate playfulness thanks to his attention to detail. This manifests itself in small drawings that can be found on his installations, but also in parentheses, buttons, small differences in the handles of the kitchen cabinets, etc. It is also possible that they are found to be dramatic or fragile because they allow certain sculptures to hang or lean. The varied work of Van Doornum can easily be distinguished by his typical writing.