A native of the Netherlands, Marja Koenraad playfully uses acrylic and ink to create works brimming with striking linearity and broken geometry. We can see the plethora of genres Koenraad references in her pieces. Koenraad notes that she finds inspiration in the graphic structure of tattoo lifework as well as "abstract and folkloric ornamentation and design". To our eyes, the color palettes and shapes are reminiscent of both midcentury modern patterns and the wax prints for which Koenraab's country is known. This relationship is further exaggerated by the use of striations that act as a nod to the filling thread pattern within woven textiles. Koenraad manages to incorporate these iconic arts while presenting us with pieces that are approachable and entirely unique.
Regardless of the origins of her design inspirations, Koenraad is overflowing with creativity and she has become a prolific artist. Sometimes the subjects are abstracted landscapes, other times they are visual representations of personal narratives. Her intentions aside, Koenraad offers us a portfolio of works on paper that are unobtrusively bold and capable of adding transformative funkiness to any space.
The almost color blocked technique within the segmented shapes is hypnotic. Despite the use of vibrant fill colors, the abundance of black lines in close proximity to one another gives the illusion of a slight, discoloring haze that tones the pieces to a somehow muddied organic palette complete with sage and mustard shades which work together as a counterbalance that subdues the complexity of the jumbled shapes. Scatted, unobstructed spaces provide refreshing pops of color that take the pieces to the next level.
We firmly believe Koenraad's works offer the perfect balance between fun boldly-colored geometry and sophisticated abstraction making them ideal for both novice and experienced art collectors alike!