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Carolein Smit at Flatland Gallery

On the 8th of September the incredible Dutch ceramic artist Carolein Smit will open her exhibition 'Death and the Maiden'  at the newly opened Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam. The work of the Academy of fine arts, St. Joost graduate is known for its evocative postures which inhabit at the same time a certain vulnerability. Much of her attention in her statues goes to the skin: it could be covered with thorns, holes, hairs, water drops, or a pattern of veins. The aesthetic created by these choices has a strong connection to the magic-realistic tradition in the arts. Carolein borrows themes from classic mythology and biblical tales, such as greed, power and impotence, vanity, perishableness and death. Often her sculptures enclose elements like those we find in vanitas. [ Continue reading ]

Primordial Soup

We've been great admirers of Dutch ceramic artist Carolein Smit for years and as we failed to write about the last time we were able to experience her haunting creations in real life during her The Flatland Gallery solo exhibition in 2015, we would like to revisit her latest presentation of new work that closed last October. Named 'Primordial Soup', the group exhibition at James Freeman Gallery in London, presented the work of Chris Berens, James Mortimer and Sam Branton, but what stood out (for us) beyond their paintings were the incredible new creations of Smit that brought the show the true emotional tactility as promised by the theme. This motive behind the curation of the four artists focussed on trusting instinct over reason, which in the eyes of Freeman has become a rarity nowadays, with the implication being that it is a lack of discipline to be tamed. Nevertheless, unfettered magical thinking still sits at the core of the artistic practice of numerous interesting artists, allowing those creators to tap into (more and more) hidden ideas, giving shape to things that don't make sense, but with a growing power as a subversive (and subconscious) reaction to the growing metrics-obsessed reality of today's world.

For us Carolein Smit's work forms the beating heart within this artistic genre that very likely will become more and more relevant in a society obsessing over numbers.   [ Continue reading ]