Iggy Pop’s song ‘Lust for Life’ (released in 1977) comes into my mind, watching the colourful, abstract paintings by Loes Koomen. Reminiscent of the Color Field and minimalist paintings of the ’50s and ’60s but without the strict rules and square shapes characteristic of that period, her paintings are vibrating, exciting and oh so sexy. They have a liberated energy and breathe a sense of freedom and guts, in fact they express… lust for life.
But Koomen’s paintings are part of a bigger plan. Part of a serial oeuvre in which every painting stands for itself and simultaneously contributes to the collection as a whole. This way, these ‘modular’ paintings give Koomen the possibility to experiment and dive into the depths of an extremely limited selection of forms and colours on a canvas varying from small to big dimensions.
Circles and fragments of circles in combination with playful curves and lines are applied on the canvas with supple, gestural brushstrokes, in a semi-casual way. The result is as attractive for the eyes as it is for the mind and soul. Without telling a story, Koomens paintings, indirectly, express her attitude towards life and today’s socio-political issues. A ‘showing but not telling’ attitude characteristic for a generation that grew up in the ‘60s and ’70s and that keeps believing in the modern values of tolerance, experimentation and personal freedom.
Based on the way many enthusiastic ‘fans’ but also numerous international galleries ‘like’ and follow Koomen’s frequent Instagram posts – and the number of works she sells – we can only conclude that her paintings are on a roll ‘without the liquor and drugs’ like in Iggy Pop’s song.
Loes Koomen lives and works in Amsterdam