Artist Statement

While drawing I take on the role of a clairvoyant seeing through time.

Meandering between figuration and abstraction I draw a dense stream of information in which bewitching images lighten up iridescently, as if in a feverish dream in which events are fragmentized. Linear stories are interrupted, remain unfinished or are suddenly recaptured in a whole other place, leaving the viewer trying to grasp the mystery that keeps escaping him.

Being Lost is a Mere State of Wonder

In my large pencil drawings the dense stream of lines is like an endless stream of occurrences, an ocean of narratives from history. The figurative fragments are random events from past and present. To emphasize a multiplicity of layers I even let the stream of lines surge out of the drawing and whirl into the room. I attached pieces of drawing to three-dimensional constructions, showing how all pieces of stories are connected within a network. Moving past the work, from each position different shreds of narrative figuration were seen combined with others – next to and behind each other – making their reciprocal connections shift. I prepare material for these installations in my studio and create them on location.

Linear stories are interrupted, remain unfinished or are suddenly recaptured in a whole other place.

The work Scroll, a drawing of 10 metres placed on a wooden construction reminding of a classic scroll, emphasizes how the almost abstract current of lines is a narrative history. The beginning of the drawing is a nothingness from which lines and forms emerge, gradually turning into a dense stream in which occasionally figures from past and present appear.

Distorted Datastream

My solo exhibition at the Centraal Museum Utrecht in 2016, ‘Traces of Infinity’, offered an overview of my work up until then and at the same time felt like a conclusion of a period. Filling various sketchbooks with intuitive drawings on what preoccupied me I went looking for fresh, clear images with a new urgency in content. I drew mainly on internet related issues: privacy, fake news influencing our opinions and actions, filters in our newsfeed creating internet bubbles that narrow our access to other perspectives, opinions polarizing as a consequence. The underlying motivation of the distorted figuration in my work became more pronounced: it is as though facts became obscured and hidden, showing the inability to tell what is true and what is not. Though my working modus has not changed – tuning in to the world around me, associating freely and letting the drawing appear to me as it takes shape – my work now deals with what it’s like to live in this era of speedy technological developments and information overflow.

As an artist I consider collaboration, exchange, teaching, and interactive projects as an important part of my practice. In Colombia I have collected stories in the streets and converted them to drawings. More recently I made a large mural in close collaboration with a colleague.

Marisa Rappard’s work has been displayed at various galleries and art institutions domestically and internationally. Her work is well represented in Centraal Museum’s drawing collection, as well as in the UMC collection and many private collections. Rappard is represented by Cokkie Snoei in Rotterdam.

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‘Marisa Rappard’s work takes in an exceptional place within contemporary drawing – not only because of her authentic handwriting and her preference for using colour. Another captivating aspect of her work is that creating an image on a modest piece of paper does not suffice to her. Using paper and thin wooden sticks she is able to create installations raising the question as to what is a drawing. Her lines keep pulling me in, making me ’hop’ from the installations to the large drawings and zooming in on the small works. With relatively simple means she creates a world that keeps surprising me. Drawing coloured lines that keep continuing she shakes off every convention and submits herself completely to her work, work that questions her, work that escalates and literally enters the room, work that keeps astounding me.’

excerpts from Arno Kramer, ‘A search’ Mr. Motley magazine 2016

‘Inconceivably, Marisa Rappard has managed to combine large amounts of drawings in all sorts of sizes into a structured chaos: a chaos inviting you to come closer and lose yourself further ever more, since between all of those lines occasionally a fragment of a story appears – and another one, and anonther one.’

excerpt from Jantine Kremer, ‘Zooming in and out’ on the exhibition ‘Traces of Infinity’ at Centraal Museum Utrecht, Lucy magazine 2016