Jeroen Witvliet New Exhibition "Sighting" 2016

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elissa cristall gallery presents

jeroen witvliet sighting part two

jeroen witvliet sighting part two

October 8 - 29, 2016


The Sighting paintings are mostly without human presence. An empty stadium bleacher, a forest without seemingly any human activity are presented on larger format canvasses and speak of what has been, touching on memory of events and history. Informed by a film never made and therefore only existing as a phantom, the imagery is strangely silent, almost like waiting for the next episode to take place.


Within my practice I attempt to find what lies beyond that which I can speak of or define. It is through my practice that I am hoping to stumble across a different way to make a connection with reality, to go beyond the immediacy of the first encounter and explore the realm that opens up when focusing more intently and repeatedly on a contemporary encounter. – Jeroen Witvliet

Nomad J Oil on canvas 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches) 2016


Crossing and the Conversations Oil on canvas 46 x 106 cm (18 x 41.5 inches) 2016


Memory drives many of the images that Witvliet creates. Shifting moments, historical uncertainty and a desire to understand human relations creates doubt and questions the ability to remember and connect fully to time and history. The day to day flow of observation, reaction and reflection, linking multiple pasts into the contemporary leads him to stubbornly embrace that which could be called the Poetic. "It might be an immediately failing experiment to question reality’s follies, however it is for me an honest attempt to understand identity and being."

Sighting Bleachers Oil on canvas 190 x 260 cm (74.5 x 102 inches) 2016


Sighting Section two Oil on canvas 196 x 264 cm (77 x 104 inches) 2016


The painted surfaces shift constantly as if they were slowly fainting memories being replaced by different interpretations and a new way to mediate the visible world. Many times the surface is darkened and reduced to an almost monochromatic surface where everything and nothing takes place.

Nomad I Oil on canvas 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches) 2016


Sighting Bonfire Oil on canvas 152 x 188 cm (60 x 74 inches) 2016

Sighting Bonfire 2 Oil on canvas 152 x 188 cm (60 x 74 inches) 2016


Witvliet uses a wide range of images and sketches as a starting point for paintings and drawings. Many of these images come from memory. When he thinks about a particular event it might become connected to other places and times. The images are therefore manipulated further; information is being added, removed or obscured. At times he only draws and paints from memory having the image quality become obscured as if a filter has been applied. The surface of the painting can vary in quality from smooth and flat to scraped and textural.

Sighting The Hunt Oil on canvas 124 x 183 cm (49 x 72 inches) 2016


Nomad B Oil on canvas 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches) 2016

Nomad D Oil on canvas 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches) 2016


“I strive to strengthen the experience of being dislocated from one reality and being pushed into another and in doing so create a critical awareness of time, place, memory, politics, history and the contemporary, whatever that might be for the viewer-spectator-participant who encounters these works.”

The Accused Oil on canvas 60 x 90 cm (24 x 35 inches) 2016


Bio Jeroen Witvliet was born in Capelle aan den Ijssel, the Netherlands in 1972. He received an MFA from the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC in 2014 and a BFA from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1996. He won the Erasmus Exchange Program Award in 1996 and moved to Canada to study film at Emily Carr University in Vancouver. In 2015 Witvliet had a solo exhibition “Wayfayer” at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna BC. He has had solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the Netherlands. “Sighting Part Two” is his fifth solo exhibition with Elissa Cristall Gallery.

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