London-based Dutch artist Marcelle Hanselaar talks to us about her new exhibition TRANSFIGURED ARCHETYPES
In our compartmentalized art world, it is perfectly possible for an artist to be represented in national collections and remain totally unknown to the general public. Before public galleries and international dealers took over magazine space, it was the critic’s job to root out overlooked artists and introduce them to their readers. We now have to discover them through their obituaries. But should we stay in ignorance until they die?
Lorna Gascoigne in The Spectator,
We caught up with London-based Dutch artist Marcelle Hanselaar at her TRANSFIGURED ARCHETYPES exhibition at the IN&OUT club in Mayfair to find out more about her and her new exhibition. I hope after reading this you want to know more about Marcelle and her show.
I don’t like to dissect the work too much or find its hidden meaning I like to let it take its own course, sink into me and usually it appears much later
Like you, I don’t really dissect nor explain my work mainly because each painting must speak for itself. This should intrigue and make the viewer wonder what is happening in the image. Best of all is when an image lingers and finds meaning through a person’s own associations.
Although I instinctively know what I’m doing and have lots of snippets of associations in my images, often referencing classical painting or contemporary events in my own life or time, I don’t not analyze and I am not able to explain what a painting is. on. If I could do that, I would be a writer or a curator and not a visual artist.
Marcelle, can you tell us a bit about your artistic practice?
Regarding my artistic practice, I went to the Royal Academy in The Hague for a year and a half to study drawing and fashion illustration, but I left because it bored me. Most of my friends were artists, in order to earn some money I became an artist’s model and learned the basics like stretching and preparing the canvas.
After many years on the road I started painting in the late 70’s, from abstract to hard edged to begin with and slowly over the years my work became more and more figurative and I have found my voice in the 90s.
One of the artists from Aleph told her manager Vivienne Roberts about my work who immediately contacted me, came to my studio and was overwhelmed by what she saw. She immediately had the idea for a show, introduced me to Kamini Vellodi and everything clicked from there. The Oracle of Limbo series was selected right away and we looked at other paintings together in my studio and Kamini and Vivienne discussed their choices. I left everything to them.
It may be because I had recently seen their exhibitions before seeing yours but I see similarities between your work and the work of recent Francis Bacon and Michael Armitage exhibitions at RA, especially in your use of animals and your interest in crowds and the choice of palace color do you feel a connection to their work or do you see any similarities with other artists?
I find the work of Bacon and Armitage so exciting, each in their own way are very impressive painters and I feel a great affinity with their work. And the permanent sources of inspiration are Max Beckmann in his raw exposition of people and their times or the capacity for narration and composition of the great Baroque painters. I can also see these influences in the work of Bacon and Armitage.
The locations and locations where your paintings take place are imaginary but to me they seem very real. There’s a lot of talk about reality these days, mostly due to advances in technology, but hasn’t the question of reality always been an important one – trying to figure out what’s real isn’t just a technological question, right?
The question ‘what is real‘ is never technological, that is to say in 2 dimensions. What’s so fascinating about visual art is that you can suggest an existential reality through the use of props, as is done in theater. This type of reality is of course not factual, because to be effective it must be suggestive. The magic of painting is that you can show the inside and the outside, the suggestive or the interpretative on the same plane.
You’ve lived in London since the 80s having traveled a lot, do you think London has gotten better as a place for an artist or has it gotten worse?
I love being a foreigner and love living in London, it’s a great place to see a wide variety of art, meet lots of different artists and experience the inventiveness of new businesses and ideas. I feel very lucky to be here.
TRANSFIGURED ARCHETYPES: The strange becomings of Marcelle Hanselaar Organized by Kamini Vellodi – March 23, 2022 at In & Out Club presented by Aleph Contemporary
- Art Stuff London
- Contemporary Aleph
- Marcelle Hanselaar
Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, founder and co-editor of Art of Conversation and founder of the @worldoffad platform
Landscapes, seas, flowers and architecture.
Aleph Contemporary, a new contemporary art gallery specializing in influential and emerging contemporary art, presents a solo exhibition by London-based artist Dan Coomb.
Paul Benney, Tessa Farmer, Errol Fuller, Marcelle Hanselaar, Matthew Killick, The Little Doll Theater, Claire Morgan, Hugo Wilson & Viktor Wynd.