Among the ranks of the new European abstract painters Jeroen Erosie has a special place and position. With a strong background in Graffiti since the Early Nineties and a very personal evolution towards new forms of muralism at the turn of the Century which made of the Dutch artist one of the best examples of pioneering unorthodox evolutions from Graffiti – in the last decade Erosie has established for himself one of the most unique and peculiar abstract styles in Europe.
Erosie’s practice originates from the fluidity and restless process of Graffiti lettering. This discipline – where lines, letters and shapes evolve gradually and almost imperceptibly towards unpredictable results – has been such at the core of his production to leave a unique mark on all his practice. His canvases and collages appear like a paused instant in a restless dynamic, a continuos morphing and over-layering of shapes, lines, textures which one wouldn’t be surprised to find changed in a blink of an eye. Jeroen Erosie’s art is a poetic of rounded forms and geometric lines, a language that channels the natural landscapes of his endless bike rides as much as the architectural geometries of the city’s forgotten spaces which are so dear to graffiti writers. A rare balance, where very physical gestures and intuitive approaches are mixed with an extremely methodic process of creation, reinterpretation and relentless research.
In Graffiti a final work – a tag as much as a throw-up or a full piece – it’s all in the dynamic conjunction of powerful energy and extreme precision, as there is no time than for just one attempt. Method and experience are at the base of such an unforgiving practice and the sketchbook is the first and basic tool of this discipline. Erosie’s sketchbooks are still at the core of his production since the times when letters and pieces where filling them and his current works still finds their origins in those fiercely filled up pages. It is in these sketchbooks that in more then 20 years the Dutch artist’s language has evolved from Graffiti to a personal and unique visual alphabet that nevertheless his abstract nature still keeps the traces of a long evolution from letters and it is precisely with this path in mind that the viewer should read the title of this exhibition.
Almost Legible refers to the language spoken by the shapes that Erosie creates: a lettering faded and morphed into abstraction by time and evolution which keeps subtly reappearing and connoting his works. His current sketchbooks are at the core of this exhibition, there in fact it is where this hidden alphabet manifests itself in its purest form, it is where we find pages and pages filled with a visual discourse, a dialogue within the artist and himself, where his never ending process of research appears most evident. Almost Legible is a unique occasion to explore the connection between rough ideas and Jeroen Erosie’s canvases, murals and collages and to witness the tension between letters and the almost readable abstract shapes which uniquely define the practice one of the most interesting vanguard artists in Europe right now.
The work of Jeroen Erosie (Eindhoven, 1976) is deeply rooted in various disciplines, from graffiti to conceptual art, from illustration to typography. Jeroen connects these seemingly segregated areas in a natural, personal process, reflecting his thoughts, doubts and experiences while constantly evolving his visual output. His work seems to be an ever changing visualisation of thought processes, looking for the friction between intuitive approaches and conceptual frameworks while constantly gaining new insights. He has exhibited and painted in U.S.A., Japan and Europe where his work was shown at Alice Gallery in Bruxelles, Sommerset House in London, Artmosphere Biennale in Moscow, Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and Le Palais de Tokyo in Paris among many others. His murals appeared in surveys as The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti (YALE University Press, 2013), Trespass. A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art (Taschen, 2010) and Street Sketchbook (Tames & Hudson, 2007). Almost Legible is Jeroen Erosie’s first solo show with Nevven Gallery.