by Marie Koetje
01/21/12 - 02/25/12
Space Invaders considers themes inherent to the human condition and explores their dimensions with respect to contemporary circumstances. Koetje utilizes the physical and illusionary properties of paint to engage persistent questions about existence and meaning, and to contemplate how they are effected by current factors like hyperconnectivity and information overload. Imagined scenarios are depicted where familiar objects and ordinary settings are invaded by electronic gadgets and digital signals. In these spaces marked by haphazard clutter and deliberate display, material distinctions become fuzzy. Steams of electric light, virtual data and noise appear as tangible as a table or rock, while organic matter takes on synthetic qualities.
These works combine traditional still life painting elements with abstract forms and textures to create compositions that capture a sort of discordant harmony. Koetje employs influences ranging from 17th century vanitas paintings to computer generated graphics to evoke the motifs of Momento mori and to embrace the equivocal tension between dualisms like the real and the virtual, subject and object, and actuality and artifice. The colors, textures and compositional frames that create both the disarray and order in these large paintings are integrated into the Vestibule gallery space. The installation design and the immersed viewpoint forced by the gallery's narrow architecture amplify the incorporated themes and ideas.
Marie Koetje lives and works in Portland. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2008 and was the recipient of a fellowship to the Yale-Norfolk Program at Yale University in 2006. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco), The Cheaper Show (Vancouver BC), Nationale (Portland) and LACE (Los Angeles).