Lex ter Braak

Leaf Plural

15 April - 20 May 2023

Leaf Plural

Stigter Van Doesburg ushers in spring with 'Leaf Plural', an exhibition featuring work by Elspeth Diederix, Lex ter Braak and Marjolein Rothman. All three relate to nature, but in very different forms. If these days it is a hot topic as an artist to reflect on everything that grows and blossoms, or more so on everything that endangers it, you could say that these artists carry a form of silent resistance in their work. The obviousness of what we see as nature is stripped of its somewhat naive sheen in 'Leaf Plural'. Can you still look at a flower in all innocence, knowing how hard it has to fight for its lore?


Lex ter Braak makes large works from several layers of paper and cardboard, sometimes torn away at the edges, covered with threads, bright splashes of colour -red, yellow, blue, muted by the softness of Japanese paper, a blank spot or the traces of a screen print. A cacophony of colour, shape and movement like a party about to get out of hand. In all their merriment, destruction lurks.


Marjolein Rothman's paintings on aluminium are more hushed. In a contrasting colour, the paint strokes take on the background. This positive/negative makes the unpainted parts as important as the strokes themselves.

The faded colours make it seem as if time has already gone into the paintings. Like a discovery in an attic, while the works have just been made. In both large and small sizes, Rothman manages to keep her work exciting through the aptness of colour and form, reinforced by the slight hint of tree and leaf.


For Elspeth Diederix, nature is familiar territory. In addition to her analogue photographs of flowers and plants, she has become increasingly concerned with real nature in recent years. She has her own publicly accessible garden in Erasmus Park, and sometimes made lasting interventions in various museum gardens. For 'Leaf Plural', she drew inspiration from the East Indian cherry. This annual, the favourite flower of many, shows itself with greying leaves, but also as a life-size mobile. The greatly enlarged leaf moves gently in the air, balanced by two smaller specimens. She took a Calder construction as a starting point and lets hers float with a slight form of irony.

In 'Leaf Plural', the artists relate to each other as flowers and plants can. Precisely non-obvious combinations give an extra push to experience them separately and in conjunction. As long as one does not displace the other.