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Cécile van Hanja (Corsica/The Netherlands)

an artist’s statement

In urban environments we are inundated daily with information and hectic impressions. Through painting I seek a balance between this outer city life and my private world. In my studio I create the tranquility I need to be in direct contact with myself. The inspiration for my paintings of industrial buildings comes partly from my cycle route to my studio, which leads through an industrial area as well. But also modern housing, particularly buildings from the 30’s, belonging to the architecture from the Modernism are a source of inspiration, like The Farnsworth House and The German Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. When I am working on a project, I photograph architecture and then I transform those images into paintings ,altering color, light and atmosphere. My large paintings show architectural spaces where corridors, rooms or staircases seem familiar, but cannot be placed in a specific site or certain time. I leave the spaces remarkably empty so that it seems all context has been erased. The anonymity that is created through the identical architectural structure of apartments in large residential complexes, creates a certain alienation and abstraction. In my paintings I try to capture the aesthetics and beauty of this buildings, the silence and peace they radiate, and the play of light that appears on glass façades. Although the buildings I depict are recognizable, my paintings are abstracted, I reduce the buildings into a simplified field of abstract shapes, lines and color. Cécile van Hanja


ARTiculAction Art Review June 2014 Special Issue  

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