Currently on view at Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto, Canada is Marcel van Eeden’s solo exhibition, “The Garden”. The exhibition is connected to a group of recent international shows that form a sprawling magnum opus entitled The Hotel. As with the nomadic narrative it depicts, the series began with The Lobby at Fabienne Leclerc, Paris; The Room at Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen; The Restaurant at Georg Kargl, Vienna; The Garden at Clint Roenisch and continuing into 2014 with The Elevator and The Hostage in Germany and Tel Aviv.
Since the early nineties Marcel van Eeden has concerned himself with the act of drawing and specifically on the rendering and reordering of the vast historical period that stems roughly from the birth of photography to the definite end-limit of 22 November 1965, the day of his birth. Thus for two decades the artist has been drawing relentlessly, seeking at first to recapture the experience of the light, the old light now extinguished, of the myriad source images and then later on, as the drawings began to move away from individual scenes to complex tableaux with multiple techniques and linked content, to slowly suggest a vast global web of noirish intrigue, entirely of the artist’s devising, acted out across several continents with a rotating cast of mysterious figures.
For the newest series The Hotel (and The Garden that is the grounds of the property) it is Sollman who looms largest. “While the operation in the hotel was being carried out with almost military precision, Sollmann examined the picture above the desk. It was a reproduction of a 17th-century painting, possibly a Ruysdael, but there wasn’t a name on it. It depicted a wooded landscape with a river or a small lake. Sollmann recalled having seen the work before, in Berlin, perhaps, or Vienna.” From what can be pieced together from earlier drawings we can surmise that he has escaped a Zurich prison where he had been held for the murder of Matheus Boryna and several others, including those at Lone Lake in the 1920s (exhibited at Clint Roenisch, 2010) and that he has now taken hostages in this hotel. Sollman’s demand? A plane to Congotanga, West Africa, a murky place with no extradition treaties and thus a Mecca for underworld types in the 1956 noir-inspired film, Congo Crossing.