MARCH 23 TO JUNE 24, 2018
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.
Elly Strik was born in The Hague in 1961 as the second child of four children. She studied art in the north and the south of Holland, at Minerva Art Academy in Groningen and at the post-graduate intstitute Jan van Eyck-Academy in Maastricht. From 1990 she regularly connects poetry with visual art. Since then, seven monographies have been published on her work. In 1999 she had her first museum-solo-exhibition at MuHKA in Antwerp. She started teaching at the age of twenty-five at several art academies in the Netherlands and Germany. Since 2004, she teaches at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, the Netherlands. She lives and works in the capital city of Europe, Brussels.
1700 Notre-Dame Street W
Montreal (Qc) H3J 1M3
Metro station Lucien L’Allier
From Wednesday to Sunday
From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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