In the exhibition Beyond the Painting, the Italy/Dublin-based curator Valeria Ceregini, presents five contemporary Dutch female artists. What unites these five painters is that they all work in abstraction. In this exhibition, Ceregini wants to highlight precisely this aspect of contemporary painting and show how lively and beloved abstract painting still is as a means and a medium. She did not select these five Dutch women randomly, but investigates in her research how abstract work is still produced in various European countries and as a genre is very much alive. This show is build around the bold statements of a collection of five art practices concerning the female abstract voice of two generations. Despite their diversity, together they make a strong presentation, and proclaim a serene contemporary eloquence.
According to Ceregini:“The different artistic languages, from their origins, have challenged the notion of art as being “windows on the world”, human products born from the imitation of nature and as its form of knowledge. But, nowadays, it becomes important to focus on the new non-figurative art to explore and know better the new relationship between art and nature, artist and reality”.
The five artists brought together in this exhibition are: José Heerkens, Linda Arts, Bettie van Haaster, Evi Vingerling and Marije Gertenbach. Despite the fact that the work of these artists varies greatly in their visual form, Ceregini sees a strong connection that she especially links to the freedom that these women experience in the depiction of their feelings and their own perceptions. This is done in a way that they are not distracted by anything to make their personal visual statements. The curator considers this visuality to be an important contemporary comment that is characteristic of our current era. A time in which absolute freedom applies within the choice of the representation. Curator Ceregini states: “The five artists’ emotional power and their capability to give free scope to their finer feelings push art to the apex of our contemporary cultural period, where so often we miss the artistic substance, the soul of art. The abstract painting fades away into the pure visibility giving to the onlooker the opportunity to be close in touch with his imaginary innermost world of soul”.
Beyond the Painting is the first episode of a research project on contemporary abstract painting and the first in a series of exhibitions brought together by Valeria Ceregini. In which she will also covers abstract painting in other European countries.