... Walls, facades, stairwells, and lobbies are the supports for Van der Ploeg’s paintings, Recently his works appear to have taken on an almost cartoonesque or caricature-like quality, as if the painter has shed his relative modesty. He has painted all the walls of a classical interior in the Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen with an oversize brick pattern, producing a work that in a certain sense has a figurative effect and makes a direct comment on the surrounding space Van der Ploeg’s wall paintings have the ability to give structure and to create a completely novel spatial awareness. By stacking five colored stripes one above the other in a long, narrow corridor in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, he managed to evoke a thoroughly new sense of space among the museum’s visitors. This wall painting also had something of the cartoonesque; indeed the stacking of the specific colors quickly earned the work the nickname “Licorice Allsorts”. And the work for the Hammer Museum also has, as mentioned earlier, a figurative, almost humane quality.
Jan van der Ploeg’s projects always contain an unmistakable element of spatial transformation. They are bound to their context and are directed at the visitor’s point of view. Increasingly they seem to have taken on a more figurative formal language. It seems to me that this provides sufficient reason for saying that the old Dutch schism has been sublimated in Van der Ploeg’s work-not “form or fellow”, but increasingly “form and fellow”.
From Jan van der Ploeg, Rein Wolfs, Hammer Museum (2016)