Coen Vunderink

We look at the studio of Coen Vunderink. Vunderink makes paintings, sculptures and installations. A recurring visual theme in his work are palm trees – he patterns, overlaps and layers, always looking for just that right composition. 

Vunderink often posts pictures of his studio on his website and on his Patty Morgan profile. And we’re very happy he does, because what happens is that we get a good insight into the artist’s working process. Here’s why that’s interesting: 

Usually, we, the unwitting onlooker, get to know an artwork when it’s presented to us in the context of the somewhat clean environment of an exhibition or museum, in which most every detail is curated either by a curator or the artist themselves. What we see thusly is exactly that, a presentation, coloured by someone else’s intentions. This can be nice.

What can also be nice however, what becomes so imminently obvious when looking at Vunderink’s working environment, is to see an artwork in the context in which it’s created, and get insight in the artist’s investigations, struggles and choices. Traditionally in art history it is definitely not done to look for what the artist meant or intended with a work, this is of secondary importance. But we are not worried about that here, as art history arguably exists in an entirely different discourse than art. (Let’s not get into that right now though, pfieuw) 

Art is just art. And what we love about looking into Vunderink’s studio is that you can almost see the works becoming. The artist is creating, moving things around, looking for different connections and patterns, mixing and matching, looking at things from different angles to find the right one. And we find ourselves looking over his shoulder, making connections and figuring out what exactly it is that we’re looking for. You know it when you see it, right?

Vunderink has the habit to photograph the temporary installations and combinations he makes in his studio. In the meantime, his entire studio looks like a Coen Vunderink installation. There is so much stuff lying around just waiting to become art, perhaps even by accident. 

A typical thing that we also love at Patty Morgan, is you can see Vunderink doesn’t just understand art as a finished thing, it’s a process. A ‘finished’ artwork is just a step towards a next one, a next painting, a next sculpture. It’s an endless search to that final thing, but Vunderink understands – the stepping stones are just as interesting.