All That Is Solid Melts into Air
The starting points of the works in ‘All That Is Solid Melts into Air’ were the feelings I first felt in Amsterdam when, a long time ago, I saw the painting ‘Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window’ for the first time, and the prime essence that gives intensity to all the elements of the image itself, such as oil, pigments and linen.
In the painting of Vermeer something gives us the feeling that the objects are unified by an alive and infinite movement that obliterates the representation. The scene seems to be truly moving; we feel as if we were inside the painting.
A life appears in a suspended infinite time in the fabrics, in the air, in the the light binding the matter of the painting. If I take time on these images, it is not for what they communicate, but for what they ‘give life to’.
In some paintings of Vermeer, piles of fabrics or carpets are in the foreground, marking the limit between us and the intimacy of the painting. I chose to give shape to one of those objects: I hung a linen on a wall and then I covered it with strokes of black oil paint following the folds of the drapery.
The linen was dictating the movement of the painting. I did not try to represent a fold of fabric, I activated it obliging it to express itself, questioning its ‘thingness’.
While it was drying (it took longer than 6 weeks), the matter of the painting spread out into the space and the smell of oil paint filled the place and the objects there.
The object dispersed its essence, its substance, its capillarity through the air and into the objects.
(Extract from ‘Rémanences Vitales’, conversation with Florence Meyssonnier, Revue Zérodeux, n° 68, Spring 2014. Translated from French.)
Edith Dekyndt (b. 1960, Ieper) lives and works in Belgium. Previous exhibitions include venues such as Z33 - House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt (2013), SMAK, Gent (2011), Casino Luxembourg (2011), Fri-art, Fribourg (2011), Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (2011), Kiosk, Gent (2010), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2009), among others.
Her work is included in public collections such as MoMA (New York), Cranford Collection (London), Albright-Knox Collection (New York) and FRAC (Picardie, Lorraine, Pays de la Loire, Alsace and Réunion).
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