Marja Van Kampen
Dutch-Irish Expressionist Artist: Founder of Artspace Studios Galway.

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For late 20th century paintings,
see: Contemporary Art.

Marja Van Kampen (b.1949)
Contemporary Expressionist Painter

I defy anyone not to be blown away by the explosion of colour in Marja Van Kampen's magical paintings. I have included only two of her fabulous expressionist works on this page, but you can find lots more across the website. Her range of hues and tones are so visually striking, both in terms of their direct impact and lingering effect, that one wonders why more Irish artists don't spice up their pictures with a dose of Van Kampenesque colour. Her compositional skills are no less obvious. The way she packs her canvases with a diverse range of bold and soft lines, to create maximum interest, is (in my experience) quite unique. Nothing jars. Each work's complex jigsaw of lines, images and colours holds together perfectly. It's Paul Gauguin meets the Fauvists meets Pablo Picasso (on a good day), and it leaves me breathless.

• For other postmodernists in Ireland, see: Contemporary Irish Artists.
• For the world's best, see: Top 200 Contemporary Artists.


For a list of the leading Irish
painters, including exponents of
expressionism, see:
Best Irish Artists.


Born in The Netherlands, Marja van Kampen graduated in fine art painting, printmaking and art history from the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem. After a spell as an art teacher she became a full time artist and spent 2 years painting in the South of France, moving to Ireland in 1982. An extensive traveller in Southern Europe and India, her art reflects both the exotic colours and shapes of these regions, as well as her personal sense of romance and wonder. She says that her works represent a kind of...

"visionary garden, vibrant, colourful and hopeful - encompassing symbolic elements which shape our lives"

In addition to her acrylics painting, Van Kampen specializes in limited edition silkscreen prints.


Van Kampen is a co-founder of Artspace Studios, Galway and was a major force in its development, before setting up her own studio in Galway, in 1997. She was the Irish representative artist at the Aalborg Triennale in Denmark and participated in the International Art Project in Galway. She has exhibited her works throughout Ireland, Europe and even China. She has enjoyed solo shows in numerous prestigious galleries including: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, (IMMA), Dublin, Centre D’Art Azilien, France, Philine-Vogeler Haus, Worpswede, Germany, and Galway Arts Centre, among others. Recent or future shows include: Group exhibition, Central Bank, Dublin (2008) and a Solo exhibition at the Kenny Art Gallery, Galway (2009). Her works are on display at several venues, such as: Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin; Cherrylane Gallery, Greystones; Cat and Moon Gallery, Sligo; Kenny Art Gallery, Galway; Cong Art Gallery, Co. Mayo; and the Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin.

Her paintings and screenprints are represented in many different collections, including: The Arts Council of Ireland, Office of Public Works, Mayo County Council, Galway, Institute of Technology, Microsoft Irish Art Collection, Allied Irish Bank, the Radisson Hotel Collection, Crumlins Childrens Hospital, Dublin, the University College Hospital Galway Collection, Aalborg City Council, Denmark and others. Van Kampen has received several important awards, and in 2008 she received an Arts Council Travel Award to visit Museums and Galleries in New York.

• For more information about contemporary visual artists in Ireland, see: Homepage.

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