Jan van der Ploeg (b.1959, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) and Croydon College of Art (London) before being selected as a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Over the past 30 years, Dutch artist Jan van der Ploeg has produced more than four hundred site-sensitive wall paintings in museum, gallery, corporate, public, and private spaces around the globe. Advancing ideas regarding the fusion of image, plane, and architecture first espoused by the De Stijl group nearly a century ago, van der Ploeg conceives his large-scale murals, whether temporary or permanent, in direct response to the particulars of a given architectural space or condition. His wall paintings usually embrace and activate the full height and width of a given wall. Individual works can be centered on a single wall, wrap around several walls filling an entire room, span multiple rooms or adjacent floors of a building, scale up and down stairwells, and more.
Van der Ploeg’s paintings are characterised by their use of bold geometric shapes and patterns in vibrant, singular colour arrangements. These are informed by a diverse array of art historical sources from Italian Renaissance architecture to Maori weaving and Islamic tile design. In his work, he employs exclusively hard-edged, solid-colored shapes, which may be orthogonal or curvilinear, meet at right or oblique angles, or run parallel with or perpendicular to the floor and ceiling. His palette is dynamic and saturated, but rarely uses the pure primary colours of red, yellow, and blue. A wall painting may consist simply of a single color applied against the neutral white ground of a gallery wall, or may employ two or more distinct colors used in concert. His immersive wall works, usually large in scale, recalibrate our perception of a given space and can range from highly graphic to spatially confounding, overwhelming both the eyes visually and the body physically.
Van der Ploeg has exhibited his work extensively in both solo and group exhibitions in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Selected solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus Baselland (Basel), Taubert Contemporary (Berlin), Gerhard Hofland Gallery (Amsterdam), Nieuw Dakota (Amsterdam), Boeske & Hofland (Leipzig), NP3 (Groningen), Atelier aan de Middendijk (Groningen), Sarah Cottier Gallery (Sydney), Hamish McKay Gallery (Wellington), Giacomo Guidi Gallery (Rome), Raygun Projects (Toowoomba, Australia), Shane Campbell Gallery (Chicago), and Klaus Benden (Cologne). In 2007, van der Ploeg mounted a large-scale, wall painting installation at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
Van der Ploeg’s work is included in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), Gemeentemuseum (The Hague), Rijksmuseum Twente (Enschede), and Daimler Contemporary Art Collection (Berlin), among others. He studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Gerrit Rietveld Academie (both Amsterdam), and the Croydon College of Art (London).
In addition to his artistic work, van der Ploeg founded and directs PS, a highly regarded exhibition venue and program based in Amsterdam. PS aims to provide a platform for the work of upcoming international artists in an environment that exists between the conventions of an artist-run space and a commercial gallery.