MARCH 23rd TO JUNE 24th
Born in The Hague in 1971, Dutch artist Elly Strik studied at ABK Minerva in the northern city of Groningen and Jan van Eyck Académie in Maastricht. She lives and has her studio in Brussels and teaches at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in The Hague. Brussels, she says, has an atmosphere that is “human and open, dominated, in a surreal way, by a kind of anarchy and an iconoclastic climate that is conducive to artistic creation. There is no prestige culture, and artists feel very free there.” She draws on the cultural crucible of Belgium and its European neighbours, countries that are deeply interconnected intellectually and artistically through their shared histories and mentalities.
Strik’s references are rooted in an intellectual and philosophical engagement with various thinkers who have shaped our civilization. She also takes inspiration from the aesthetics of painters who have been instrumental in the evolution of the visual arts since the late 1800s.
The voices of our forebears, she suggests, necessarily guide us in this connection between past and present. Here, in her first exhibition in Canada, she pays tribute to them with the installation To All the Long Gone Darlings. And to You
Through various facets of the feminine, the artist examines the status of women as well as her quest for herself. The bride drawings – the German-title Braut, and The Bride – evoke both the male and the female. A veiled woman and a woman without a veil, both faceless. Do we not all carry within ourselves this dual sexuality, both masculine and feminine?
Strik reveals an existential duality that is perhaps experienced by her female subjects, who seem to hesitate between two attitudes, one more transparent and open to the universe, the other turned inward, toward the depths of the soul.
The artist feels a strong connection to the various natural supports she uses. She works exclusively on paper, primarily with graphite (a mineral also found in the interstellar dust produced by exploding stars), as well as ashes from her wood stove and oil paint, which she makes from pigment.
The exhibition invites us into a threefold universe, examining the origins of our culture, the question of the feminine through the ages, and our dynamic relationship to the cosmic.
1700, rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Montréal (Qc) H3J 1M3
From October 6 to December 17 2017
From Wednesday to Sunday
From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Our offices are open Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM.
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