Marcel van Eeden

The absolutely incredible work of Dutch artist Marcel van Eeden, who’s been a favorite of ours for years, is known for a deeply characteristic aesthetic reminiscent of film noir, evoking an ambiguous sense of romance and melancholia. Employing charcoal and colored pencils, as well as watercolor paint, his stylized and tightly cropped cinematic images visualize dramatic scenes which immerse the spectator in mysterious narratives. When framed as a entity, van Eeden’s individual drawings out of a series form complete compelling fictions based on historical facts, interweaving several chronologies and narratives. Subjected to unforeseen experiences, the protagonists’ – often developed by the artist parallel to his own life, traveling and subsequently taking shape inspired by the same places he visits – lives begin to converge as their stories gradually are revealed by van Eeden’s ingenious labyrinth of gripping tales and thrilling twists. We can’t get enough of van Eeden’s remarkable images.

When I’m working on a story, I often leave the bottom of the page blank. Sometimes I make 10 drawings and then I look for the story line. Sometimes I have a bit of the storyline and I search for the drawing that fits best with the story but sometimes it doesn’t fit at all, and I like that because then you have a kind of Dadaistic coincidence. You search for meaning, and question seemingly incongruous juxtapositions.

Marcel van Eeden was born 1965 in The Hague. The initial intention of this Dutch draftsman and conceptual artist was to become a writer. After his decision to follow the path of an artist, he decided, in 1985, to only use images in his works derived from the time before his birth. Thus, van Eeden began to turn found images into paintings. During his art studies at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague from 1989 to 1993, Marcel van Eeden turned to drawing as his preferred medium. From 1993 till today, the artist creates at least one drawing per day.

In the early nineties, van Eeden began exhibiting in Dutch galleries and museums. Solo-exhibitions followed in Munich, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, and Toronto. Narrative structures emerged in his works no later than 2004, when the artist began grouping disparate singular motifs and captions into mysterious series. In 2006, van Eeden moved to Berlin. In this very same year, he showed his series of drawings titled K. M. Wiegand. Life and Work at the 4th Berlin Biennial, which garnered him widespread attention and critical acclaim. Since 2008, Marcel van Eeden lives and works in Zurich.

On the 29th of May 2015 – 40 years after ‘Drawing Now’, the legendary exhibition mounted jointly with the MoMA in New York – the Albertina in Vienna once again attempts to take stock of what drawing means or can mean today. In the present showing, selected works by 36 international artists and artist groups turn the spotlight on relevant movements of the past ten years, among which is the work of van Eeden, indicating the position of the artist and his work.

Visit the Albertina at Albertinaplatz 1 in Vienna opened daily 10:00 – 18:00 and Wednesday 10:00 – 21:00, which will host ‘Drawing Now’ until the 11th of October 2015.

Last year Marcel van Eeden and Konrad Bitterli released ‘Tales of Murder and Violence’ which is still available here.

For more information and extraordinary work by the master Marcel van Eeden see here.