Turn Up the Silence
In her work, Esther Tielemans (1976, Helmond, the Netherlands) reflects on the fundaments of painting. With mirroring monochromes, references to landscape painting executed on wooden panels composed in space, she explores the third dimension of the flat canvas and challenges the viewer to physically relate to her work. A central aspect in Tielemans’ new work is the subjective sensation and memory of a landscape. The loose movement in her brushstrokes seems to hint at a cloudy sky. However, it is not the depiction that counts here, but the reminiscence and sensation that a landscape could evoke. The panels have angular cut-outs placed in them, as pixels from the background that have been magnified: images in images, similar to how remembrance may become fragmented in time, and certain memories remain more vivid than others. The cut-outs suggest a layered spatiality without actually emerging from the flat surface, thus coinciding the abstraction in her previous work with a dynamic, painterly stroke. Often, Tielemans will capture this opposition by placing smooth monochromes, glossed with a shiny epoxy resin, across from her colourful paintings. The mirroring surfaces softly reflect the surrounding space, viewer included, making it impossible to escape the impressive composition and actively merging the work with its surroundings. Now, that composition can be found in the paintings themselves: a silent tension between abstraction and loose brush stroke, between flat surface and three dimensionality.
Last year, Tielemans was awarded with the prestigious Theo Wolvecamp prize, a biennial national award for painting. A selection of the impressive works made for the occasion of this prize will be on display during the exhibition Turn up the silence, alongside new paintings made specially for this show.
Tielemans studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. She is currently exhibiting her work at her solo-show ‘Same Moment, Two Different Memories’ in ‘Het Oog’ of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Her work has been shown in the Netherlands as well as abroad, a.o. at Aando Fine Art, Berlin (2014), Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (2013), De Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem (2012), Museum Van Bommel van Dam, Venlo (2011), Kunstverein, Leverkusen (2010), De Appel, Amsterdam (2005), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2003) and Gemeente Museum, Den Haag (2002). In 2014 she was awarded the Theo Wolvecamp prize, a biennial national award for painting. Tielemans was also awarded the Prix de Rome Basic Prize Visual Arts (2005) and the national Royal Award for Painting (2002). Her work has been included in a number of national collections a.o. the Caldic Collection, Netherlands, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Fries Museum Leeuwarden, Museum Van Bommel van Dam, Venlo and SCHUNCK, Heerlen, and private international collections in Switzerland, Germany, Korea, Austria and the United States. Tielemans lives and works in Amsterdam.
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