On Friday 9th of June the gallery will be close, due to the fact we are traveling to Basel

You are hereby invited to the opening of the solo exhibition ‘TATARNIK’ by CAROLINE COOLEN in our gallery on the Mauritsweg 55 B in Rotterdam on Saturday May 6, from 2 – 6 PM
The show will continue until June 25, 2023.


One word is central to Caroline Coolen’s work: uniting.
In her three-dimensional work she assembles different materials into sculptures. In printmaking she makes use of collage technique: she glues cut-up woodcuts together into unique wall-sized works on paper.
“This method gives me the freedom to compose a work as I go, regardless of a preconceived idea or image. The woodcut also gives me a different writing style than that of my own drawing hand. I always work in overlapping layers. With each new layer, the piece gains depth and meaning.”

Caroline was inspired by the rich history, folk culture and untouched nature of Eastern Europe and beyond. She used motifs borrowed from these cultures in her new graphic work. The layering of the different print runs symbolizes the layering of borders, because older borders and civilizations are hidden under every border.

A recurring motif in Coolen’s oeuvre is that of a thistle. In her wanderings she invariably comes across what is in the margins and what is ignored. The thistle is often unwanted and therefore massively contested. It is a plant with so much symbolism. Her thorns made her a symbol of the suffering and sacrifice of Christ. Within the Christian tradition, the thistle therefore means little good. At the same time, it is also a healing plant that in earlier times was often mentioned in the same breath as witchcraft. The Russian name for thistle literally means “to damn the devil.” The expelling of impure forces.

For the exhibition ‘Tatarnik’ she brings together works that are both suitable and disruptive in relation to the historic building in which the gallery has recently moved into.

*Tatarnik is a thistle and and is given the meaning problem solver, healer.