The small canvasses in his solo exhibition ‘Precies recht voor iets staan’* vanish into the gallery walls like minuscule post stamps, but presentation-wise they have a strong presence. The bigger part of Gijs van Lenthe’s oeuvre is made up of small works of which he says: ‘What I appreciate in small works is that you can still look at them from a distance when you come closer. If you stand close to a large work, you lose the overview.’
What stands out in Gijs van Lenthe’s work is the brittleness of his images, that often show a fragment of a larger whole. Repeatedly zooming in reinforces that. That feeling of coming closer is emphasized by the image that is optically extended beyond the borders of the canvas. Extremely detailed snap shots, as you might call them. At times painted from observation, at others painting them together like a puzzle. It is as if we get a grip on the world by representing it in close up. That can be seen in the sculptures ‘Untitled (hek/fence)’ of 2015 and this year’s ‘Untitled (hoek/corner)’.
His 2012 exhibition ‘Starend naar Gods lichtbak’** showed signs of Gijs van Lenthe’s fragmentary way of thinking in the thematic use of spots, holes and openings. The paintings in ‘Precies recht voor iets staan’ have less focus on style than on a recurrent theme like the detail. A white fence in the middle of the space suggests a boundary or separation. There isn’t any. As a fragment of a larger whole, it’s the fence itself that matters. Nothing else.
Standing right in front of one of his works, perception is the only thing that matters.