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ERIC MANGEN | Black and White Paintings

6 June - 14 September 2019 

Eric Mangen is well known for his colorful abstractions. After residencies and projects abroad in the past 2 years, amongst others in New York, Greensboro and Melbourne, Mangen gives up his usual use of colour and turns to Black and White to take on a new artistic challenge. His powerful, abstract and gestural approach to painting, which is very much about movement and energy and in close relation to action painting, generates a dynamic and rhytmic yet poetical and sculptural body of work with large scale paintings aswell as small formats, in shades of black, white and grey.   


Interview with the artist, Eric Mangen

« So for preparing for this exhibition I wanted to get as far away from my comfort zone as possible,  so black and white was the biggest distance I could put to colour. When you work with only two colours, it’s really messy and difficult, because you’re not relying on your usal trick box of pink and blues and all of the fancy splashes. Nothing is really black and white, but it’s the two biggest contrasts. So it was much harder to express what I wanted to tell with only these two tones. And then comes grey, which is also a new player in the game. It’s a nice reflection on the world we live in that nothing really is black or white. Everything is a million tones of grey. If you put too much the contrast fades away. 


I’ve been painting and planning and thinking about this exhibition for about a year now. So when I started last year it was quite spontaneous. I had this need of expressing in black and white so there was a whole lot of paintings that just came out and then I painted colour and so on and time passes and I jump back into the black and white series which was really complicated because in time we moved from here to there and so as a painter you evolve and you are in a different place now than a couple of months ago so that was quite difficult. And I think you can see through the whole series, through the whole body of work that there’s a beginning ant there’s an end. The beginning is a lot more related to what I used to do. And now there is this explosion. 


I would really enjoy if people could see the time travel through the work. There’s very much a split, some are more into colours, some are more into the black and white, and that’s quite intriguing. I’m really looking forward to the reactions of the people. 

You ask if they are more drawings than paintings? For me they are paintings always, but if you would work with black and white, obviously the linework and strokes are very important, so it’s really difficult for me to get away from sketching or lining or drawing. It would have been very easy to bring in charcoal or pencilwork. But that is something I really wanted to get away from. I really wanted to use more brush, and spraypaint, but in a more reduced manner than generally in my work.


There’s a big conflict between controllable tools like spray cans or brushes and uncontrollable tools like my fire extinguisher and extra large spray cans, which is always a little battle between things you intentionally wanted to do and things that actually happen. Same with acetone and all of those solvants, is something that you cannot control, which is beautiful because then something actually really is created and not just planned or done. It’s a little fragile line between controlling the accident and an actual accident. It’s damage control. »

This interview was done for his exhibition "Black and White Paintings" and released in a short movie project by Morris Kemp:


Black & White Series

6'32, 2019 by Morris Kemp

With the Music of Krzysztof_Beats

Supported by Valerius art gallery, Montana Cans & Olliewood Skateshop.



Video by Morris Kemp

Music by Krzysztof_Beats

6'32, 2019

With the support of

Valerius Art Gallery 

Montana Cans

Olliewood Skateshop

Logo Gallery grous.jpg
Capture d’écran 2019-06-13 à
Capture d’écran 2019-06-13 à
Interview with Eric Mangen

Eric Mangen talks about his work, his creation processes and inspiration. Giving up his usual use of colors, he experiments painting as a matter that can be touched, sculpted. Using several techniques refering to the action painting, Eric Mangen's artwork is focused on rhythms and dynamics. In the end, the artist lets emerge from these "not-so-accidental" constructions, a deeply thought and executed abstraction, for a true poetical effect. The Black and White exhibition might mark a turning point in Eric Mangen's career.


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