Artist statement

Donald Schenkel (1991) creates subtle gradients with oil paints. He seeks for smoothness in color transitions that can lead the eye into the faraway. Sometimes these colors flash purely from the canvas, at other times they are diluted into darkening twilights. Diverse surfaces like glass or canvas carry layers of paint in distinctive ways, giving rise to an ever-greater sense of depth or translucent lightness.

During the years of working on gradients, several threads have emerged in his artistic practice. Approaching oil paints as material instead of a means to create an image, led to a focus on the qualities of paints and the behavior of colors. Translucent blues lead the way to a sense of endless space and light. Translucency expresses depth in the sense of an expanse: it gives space. Color gradients can invoke the impression of translucency, yet at the same time it is a very real characteristic of oil paint as it can appear like glass or lacquer. Often fixed on aluminum plates these color transitions seem to float.

On the other hand there is the depth expressed by shadows dark gradients in which the lighter colors seem to dissolve. Shadows linger on the edge of the unknown, mystical and dark. Yet these gradients contain a soothing subtlety that makes them the natural viewpoint for contemplation. Often made on wood and sometimes appearing as sculptures, these color transitions are grounded but deep.

As the visual language develops geometrical shapes form the boundaries of gradients. It is not clear whether they float in space or are planes of gradients put in perspective. These shapes play with the same sense of depth and immaterial that also seems to be the quality of blue itself. In working with glass and perspex as transparent materials a whole new field of possibilities is laid bare.

Selected Exhibitions

2018
Beyond and Below – duo, Assembled by Root gallery, Rotterdam

Club Gem Summer Show – group, Club Gem, Rotterdam

The Mattering of Colour – group presentation and co-curator at the St Job building for MILLTEN Rotterdam

Night Shift Edition #1 – group, Galerie de Kromme Elleboog, 2018

Qade Solo Projects 2018 – solo presentation by Assembled by Root, Rotterdam

KickstART II – group exhibition and project, In4Art Projectspace, Amsterdam

2017
Intangible Materials – duo, Assembled by Root gallery, Rotterdam

Masters of Rotterdam at North Sea Jazz – group, Rotterdam

KunstRAI 2017, Assembled by Root, Rotterdam

Tension Transitory: Non-Word – Stroop Rotterdam, duo exhibition with Patricia Qi

The New Current 2017, Rotterdam

Colour, ACE exhibition – group, S/ash Ga\\ery, Worm, Rotterdam

Rotterdam Contemporary 2017 – group presentation, Assembled by Root, Rotterdam

Museumnacht 010 – group, Bob Smit Gallery, Rotterdam

2016
Winterwolven, Roodkapje Rotterdam – group, in collaboration with Patricia Qi, Arminius Church, Rotterdam

Court of Justice – solo, Rechtbank Rotterdam

The Faraway Comes Near – solo, Root Expositions Gallery, Rotterdam

NO WALLS EXPO – group, North Sea Jazz, Rotterdam

Route du Nord – group, curated by CBK, Rotterdam

Root vindt Thuis – group, Root Expositions Gallery, Rotterdam

Damage Playground – group, Root Expositions Gallery, Rotterdam

Root Expositions #2 – group, by Root Expositions Rotterdam

Dutch Design Week – group, Eindhoven

Passkey Festival – group, Montepulciano, Italië

Root Expositions #1 – group, by Root Expositions Rotterdam

Education

2012-2017
Bachelor of Education, Willem the Kooning Academy, Rotterdam

2014-2015
Propedeuse, International Bachelor of Arts and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam

2009-2011
Propedeuse Game Design and Development, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht

2003-2009
VWO, Atheneum, Stanislascollege Westplantsoen, Delft

Internships

2017
Internship at Het Lyceum Rotterdam

2015-2016
Internship at KunstPunt Gouda

2015-2016
Internship at Gallery Frank Taal, Rotterdam

2014
Assistent to artist Sarah van der Pols

Additional

2018
Co-curator of The Mattering of Colour, Rotterdam, in collaboration with Yvonne de Jong and MILLTEN Rotterdam

2017-2018
Teacher in Art History, evening course for adults at Stichting Cultuur Moerdijk, in collaboration with Inouschka de Nooijer

2017
Assistent at Gallery Frank Taal

2014-2016
Organizing lectures/debates on Art, Design and the Art World

2014-2015
Peer coaching at Willem the Kooning Academy

Collections

Part of the In4Art collection

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