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Marc Trujillo, KL603, 35 x 70 cm, oil on panel, 2017
8810 Tampa Avenue
Marc Trujillo

07.05.2023 — 27.08.2023
Artist talk and opening
07.05.2023 at 16:00 hrs
West in the former American embassy, Lange Voorhout 102, The Hague

In the book ‘Waarom een schilderij werkt’, writer and curator Jurriaan Benschop introduces the work of dozens of painters. He discusses themes and painting techniques, but also the attitudes and concepts that lie hidden behind a painting. The exhibition ‘8810 Tampa Avenue’ is organised specifically for this book presentation and showcases the work of American painter Marc Trujillo. The work of Trujillo gives the visitor a running start on comprehending the contemporary relevance of painting.

What inspires and motivates an artist? What worldview lies hidden behind a work? The cultural background of artists seems to be of inevitable influence on the work they make. Expanding this statement in his book, Jurriaan Benschop picks up on the discussion on the separation between artwork and maker and whether a painting can stand on its own or only exists within a contextual space. The author brings to light the current themes within contemporary painting and illustrates the surprising scope of the medium. He focuses on the relevance of the selected paintings in a societal as well as an art-historical sense, and he asks himself why paintings ‘work’. In this way, the visitor is challenged to ask questions on that which is visible to us, and find words that are adequate to the art of today.

The presentation at West showcases recent works by Marc Trujillo. Living and working in Los Angeles, the artist takes stock of everyday American life by portraying precise details of shopping malls, fast food restaurants and consumer goods. The paintings are small and compact, in contrast to the physical and existential space taken up by consumer architecture in the American landscape. For Trujillo, painting is a way to pay attention to places that are not meant to be looked at for a longer time. He remarks, ‘I look for the precise expression of mixed feelings.’ According to him, a painting is successful and most potent when it comprises the necessary degree of ambivalence. What is visually appealing and fascinating can at the same time generate uncomfortable thoughts on globalisation, sustainability and the emptiness behind the facades of material prosperity.

Preceding the opening of the exhibition there is an artist talk between Benschop and Trujillo at 16:00 hrs. ‘Waarom een schilderij werkt’ is published through Van Oorschot and is available for purchase at West.

Jurriaan Benschop is a Dutch writer and curator based in Berlin and Athens. His book ‘Waarom een schilderij werkt’ will be published in English this spring. He has organised, among others, the exhibitions ‘Taking Root’ (2019-20) at KIT, Düsseldorf (2019-20), ‘Content is a Glimpse’ (2018-19) at Efremids Gallery, Berlin, ‘Re: Imagining Europe’ (2017) at Box Freiraum, Berlin and ‘A Grammar of Gestures’ (2021-22) at Kourd Gallery, Athens. As a guest lecturer, he travels to art academies across Europe and the US for seminars, studio visits and writing workshops.

Marc Trujillo lives and works in Los Angeles, US. With his characteristic clarity and detail, Trujillo paints North American urban and suburban landscapes, architecture and interiors. He has had numerous group- and solo exhibitions across the US and currently exhibits through Hirschl & Adler Modern in New York and Chris Winfield Gallery in Carmel, California. His work is taken up in public and private collections, among which The Monterey Museum of Art, The Crocker Museum of Art, The Long Beach Museum, The Bakersfield Museum of Art and The New Britain Museum of Art.

Thanks to Jerry Meyer.