The Late Visionary Painter Ilse D’Hollander Comes to Life in a Poetic Video by Gautier Deblonde
To mark a new show of D’Hollander’s work on view at Victoria Miro’s Mayfair location, the gallery has created a poetic video, overlaid with this text written by the artist.
Presented by Victoria Miro
“The painting is created out of a convergence of thoughts and the act of painting itself,” wrote the late Belgian painter Ilse D’Hollander. “Thoughts in this case meant that I, as a painter, am not standing in front of the canvas as a neutral being but as an acting being that invests itself into painting. My being is present in my actions on the canvas.”
For a new show of D’Hollander’s work on view at Victoria Miro’s Mayfair location, the gallery commissioned photographer and filmmaker Gautier Deblonde create a poetic video, overlaid with this text written by the artist, recited by Belgian actress Francesca Vanthielen.
This passage is the closest we’re able to get to D’Hollander’s own thoughts today, as the young artist committed suicide in 1997, at the age of 28.
D’Hollander was born in the Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. She graduated from the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, in 1988, and the Hoger Instituut voor Beeldende Kunsten, St Lucas, Gent, in 1991. She would have turned 50 this year.
The new show is the first full exhibition of her work for Miro, who began representing D’Hollander’s estate this spring. Bringing together a selection of her intimately scaled paintings from 1992 to ’96, the show looks at the tension between abstraction and figuration in D’Hollander’s work.
The video was filmed in and around Paulatem, a small Belgian village where D’Hollander lived from 1995-97, and at In Den Bouw, an art cafe in Kalken where, in 1996, she had the only show of her short lifetime. The settings, lit by a late afternoon sun, are reminiscent of those that appear in the artists own paintings, depicting flat landscapes and hazy horizons with minimalistic shapes, matte colors, and thick, overlapping brush strokes.
She speaks to this technique in the video’s text as well. “The act of painting itself, a painter layer upon painted layer, results in an overpainted surface,” she writes. “After several over-paintings of this surface, it sometimes suggests a silhouette or a figure, sometimes made more explicit with a contour line.”
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