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Marcelle Hanselaar Biting the Bullet


Figurative art can do two things: it can tell a story or create a presence. The first we call narrative art; the second has no name. But if the first is close to theatre, the second is closer to poetry, its nature being essentially contemplative. Hanselaar’s earlier paintings were theatrical, complete with costumes, props and performing animals, but her recent work has veered towards the poetic. Its subject matter, she recognises, is quite slight: “All the weight is in the mode of the figure - it’s really the presence of the person, the skin.” A feel for flesh is something we associate with northern European art, a tradition to which Hanselaar, born in Rotterdam, belongs. But as a woman she has her own approach to nudity, giving its historically male perspective a sometimes disturbingly female twist. Despite their provocative poses, Hanselaar’s female nudes are not about sex. The twisted hips of ‘La Grande Horizontale’ may recall the sexual contortionism of Picasso; the bathing beauty in ‘Spectators’ may follow a line of Susannas and Bathshebas; and the nude draped over the ‘Bed of Nails’ may echo Fuseli’s The Nightmare - minus incubus - but the titillation factor is completely absent. Hanselaar’s women aren’t sending out the usual signals. Their bodies may suggest availability, but their nervous hands and challenging expressions suggest otherwise. Theirs is a solitary eroticism: they are comfortable in their skin (even when, as in ‘Hairy Beauty’, it sprouts hairs in all the wrong places) but they are alone in it.

Even the child-woman in ‘Afraid of the Dark 3’ seems less disturbed by the enveloping darkness than by the light that intrudes on her privacy. If Hanselaar’s women are self-absorbed, her men are even more so. ‘Warrior 1’ wears the accusatory stare of a person looking out of a MISSING poster – lost but not necessarily wanting to be found. The male nude recently entered her repertoire after a break-up made her aware of how little knowledge women have of men beyond their own desires. What does your partner do when the music stops? The men in her pictures, often young and rather feminine, have “a stillness which is not very masculine,” she admits. Like her single women, they take up defensive positions: both, in their different ways, are biting the bullet. One male nude faces ‘That Inevitable Moment 3’ with his thumb casually hooked through his barbed wire belt. Her portrait subjects, too, seem to await development as their images take shape through the veils of paint. After the stillness of the paintings, Hanselaar’s new prints burst upon us like a carnival passing through. With each new etching series, the action becomes more furious and the cast of characters more bizarre. ‘Ways of the World’ adds shadowy homburg-hatted men and burka-clad women to the tarty temptresses and bemused animals of former series. Graphic ideas tend to come to Hanselaar in the middle of the night; only half-processed by the conscious mind, they retain the wild inconsequence of dreams. Her prints are a ribald theatre of the absurd, while her paintings offer a sensual space for contemplation.


Laura Gascoigne


oil on canvas

97 x 76 cm 3



oil on canvas

100 x 90 cm


The Visitor


oil on canvas

90 x 100 cm



Home Sweet Home

oil on canvas

110 x 95 cm


Afraid of the Dark 3


oil on canvas

70 x 60 cm


Study of an Unknown Girl 2 12

oil on canvas

40 x 35 cm

Study of an Unknown Girl 1

oil on canvas

40 x 35 cm 13


Hairy Beauty

oil on canvas

97 x 76 cm


Red Riding Hood 2


oil on canvas

90 x 120 cm


La Grande Horizontale 18

oil on canvas

70 x 95 cm


oil on canvas

80 x 100 cm 19



oil on canvas

102 x 62 cm


Warrior 1 22

oil on canvas

101 x 77 cm

Warrior 3

oil on canvas

97 x 77 cm 23

That Inevitable Moment 3


oil on canvas

90 x 70 cm



Between a Rock and a Hard Place

oil on canvas

90 x 65 cm


Colander Blues 28

oil on canvas

70 x 60 cm


oil on canvas

51 x 41 cm 29

Ways of the World 1 30

etching / aquatint

45 x 39 cm

Ways of the World 2

etching / aquatint

50 x 40 cm 31

Ways of the World 3 32

etching / aquatint

50 x 40 cm

Ways of the World 4

etching / aquatint

50 x 40 cm 33

Ways of the World 5 34

etching / aquatint

50 x 40 cm

Marcelle Hanselaar was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and travelled extensively in Asia and Europe before finally settling down in her studio in central London. Although she studied briefly at The Royal Academy, The Hague,1962-’64, she is entirely self-taught in the medium of oil paint. In 1992/93 and again in 1995/96 Hanselaar was invited to teach painting at the S.W.Teaching University, Chongqing, China. She also taught drawing at Sotheby’s Educational Institute, London from 1989-’99. Around that time Hanselaar became interested in etching and learned printmaking first at Morley College and later at Kensington & Chelsea College. Marcelle Hanselaar’s early painting was abstract but from 1992 her work became completely figurative. She is a member of The London Group and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) Solo Exhibitions 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2001 2000 1999 1996 1994 1988 1986 1983 1982

Biting the Bullet, Millennium, St.Ives, Cornwall Sticks & Stones, University Gallery, Northumbria University, Newcastle- Upon Tyne Mama Mama, The Bear is Loose, Quest 21, Brussels Sweet ‘n’ Low, Viktor Wynd Fine Art inc. London Back to Basics, SNAP Gallery, Edmonton, Canada The Weight of Smoke, Galerie de Buytensael, Arnhem The Weight of Smoke, East West Gallery, London Down the Rabbithole, University of Aberystwyth Gallery, Aberystwyth The Weight of Smoke, De Queeste Art, Watou The Weight of Smoke, University of Brussels Gallery, Brussels La Petite Mort, Stephanie Burns Fine Art,Canberra Intimate Conversations, Artonomy Fine Art, Truro La Petite Mort,19 etchings, East West Gallery, London La Petite Mort, De Queeste Kunstkamers, Watou Shouts & Whispers, Stephanie Burns Gallery, Canberra Silence is Easy, De Queeste Kunstkamers, Watou You Said You Loved Me, RM Art, Essen Sometimes I Dream About Reality, East West Gallery, London Incomplete Tales, Erasmus Gallery, Rotterdam All of Me, East West Gallery, London Crossing Borders, Gallery at Royal Crescent, Edinburgh Close to the Bone, New Hall, Cambridge Burying the Hatchet, the Millinery Works, London Collyer Bristow Gallery, London Galerie Reisel, Rotterdam Last Gallery, London Art Space Gallery, London Clare Hall, Cambridge Stedelijk Museum, Alkmaar

Selected Group Exhibitions 2010 2009

RA Summer Exhibition, London Multiplied Art Fair, Christies SK, London The House of Fairy Tales, Millenium, St. Ives The House of Fairy Tales, Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn The House of Fairy Tales, Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury St. David¹s Hall Printmaking Biennale, Cardiff International Prints, Qijiang, China North Lincolnshire National Print Open, North Lincolnshire 400 Women, Shoreditch Town Hall Gallery, London and touring BIMPE IV mini print Biennale, Vancouver, Canada, touring London Art Fair, Islington London Original Print Fair Metamorphoses, 4th Biennale de l’estampes de Saint Maur

2009 2008 2007 2006 2006 2005 2004 2003

Black on White, Artefact Gallery, London XIV Biennale de Gravure de Sarcelles Lynn Stainer Painter Prize, London Biennale d’estampe contemporaine de Trois Rivieres, Quebec Drie Invalshoeken; with Enk de Kramer,Wouter Pype, De Queeste Art London Art Fair, Islington Mini Picture Show, Bankside Gallery, London Intaglio, St. David’s Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff Originals 08, Mall Galleries, London De Buytensael, Gelre Beurs, Arnhem Original Print Fair, London European & African Prints, RaMoMa, Nairobi This Choir of Angels, short film with Laurence Fuller Print Open 08, Ropewalk Contemporary, Barton upon Humber Summer in the City, Bankside Gallery, London Galerie Churchill, Wegimont Culture, Liege, Belgium The Threadneedle Figurative Prize, Mall Galleries, London London Group Annual, Menier Gallery, London Will it Snow for Christmas, Wall, London Discerning Eye, invited artist, Mall Galleries, London X Biennal Internacional de Grabado, Caixanova, Spain Winter Show, Goldfish, Penzance Originals 07, Mall Galleries, London Bridge Art Fair, London Bienniale Internationale de Gravure 07, Museum of Art, Liege London Group at Deutsche Bank, London Beyond the Narrative, Pitzhanger Manor Gallery, London Blauwdruk van een menszijn, De Steiger, Menen, Belgium Shortlisted Sovereign European Art Prize, Club Row, London Shortlisted Celeste Art Prize Bienale Int. de Gravura de Douro, Portugal Eyeplay, Bankside Gallery, London Things Which Go Bump in the Night, 20/21 Art Centre, Lincs London Group Open, Menier Gallery, London Originals 06, Mall Galleries London The London Group Annual, Bankside Gallery, London Le Reveil Figuratif, La Renaissance Mairie, Hondschoote, France RE Annual, Bankside Gallery, London R.A. Summershow, London Discerning Eye, invited artist, Mall Galleries London MAAPS Printmaking Biennial 2006/07 Anna Leonowens Gallery NSCAD Uni, Halifax, Canada touring Great Hall, OCAD, Toronto Kyoto Municipal Art Museum, Kyoto The Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul Red Gate Gallery, Beijing R.A. Summershow, London Uncanny Tales with Paula Rego, Ana Maria Pacheco, Oona Grimes, touring 2005-2007: Scarborough Gallery, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Wrexham Art Gallery, Cultural Centre Ypres, Jersey Arts Centre, Great Sutton Street, Black Swan Arts, Ferens Art Gallery, Rugby Art Gallery, Babylon Art Gallery Print International, Memorial Gallery, Yale College,Wrexham touring The Haven Gallery, Boston, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury Biennale Int. de Gravure, Cabinet des Estampes de la Ville de Liege, Biennale Int. d’ estampe Cont. de Trois-Rivieres, Canada Unladylike, East West Gallery, London Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London 200 years European Art, Stephanie Burns Fine Art, Canberra Originals 04, Mall Galleries, London R.A. Summershow, London RE Annual, Bankside Gallery, London Contemporary British Art, The Millinery Works, London R.A. Summershow, London National Print Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London Biennale Internationale d’estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivieres


2003 2002 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989

Showcase, East West Gallery, London Print International, Yale College, touring Prizewinners, East West Gallery, London Sons & Mothers, Collins Gallery, Glasgow Uncanny Tales, Galerie de Buytensael, Arnhem, NL 40 x 40 Cont. British Art, The Millinery Works, London Young Masters Prints, Atlanta, USA R.A. Summershow, London National Print Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London FWA, Art, Age & Gender, Orleans House, London Biennale Nederlandse Grafische Kunst, Singer Museum Laren, NL Modern & Cont. British Art, The Millinery Works, London Englische Kunst, Galerie Thomas Hettlage, Munich; Int. Small Print Biennale, Morley Gallery, London Int. Small Print Biennale, Morley Gallery, London Bearing Up, East West Gallery Pictures to Live With, The Millinery Works, London BCMA, The Mall Galleries, London Secret Lives, Axiom Gallery, Cheltenham Notes from the Underground, Dostoyevsky Museum, St.Petersburg Small & Sexy, East West Gallery, London Undercurrents, Woodlands Art Gallery, London MWA, Women, Work and Money, KPBG, London Women on Men,Touring to Oriel Theatr Clwyd, Bodelwyddan Castle and Denbigshire School of Art Gallery Unquiet Voices, Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, Doncaster 7 Dutch Artists,The Royal Netherlands Embassy, London Graffik 97, Printmakers, Scunthorpe Museum and Art Gallery Small Objects of Desire, East West Gallery, London The Child Within, East West Gallery, London Life’s a Beach, City Gallery, Leicester Identity, Towner Art Gall., Eastbourne Experiments, S.W.T.U, Chongqing Ask the Poets, Knapp Gallery, London Contemporary Portrait Society, London Women Light Up The Night, Berlin Cooling Gallery, London Expressionist Paintings S.W.T. U, Chongqing Eva Jekel Gallery, London Cooling Gallery, London British Month, Roy Miles Gallery, London Galerie Clairfontaine, Luxembourg British Painters, Mall Galleries, London Art for China, Smith Gallery, London Links of Affinity, Knapp Gallery, London and Glasgow Arts Club, Glasgow; Berkeley Square Gallery, London

Bibliography 2010 2009 2008 2007


Catalogue: Biting the Bullet, Millennium, text by Laura Gascoigne Catalogue: Mama Mama, The Bear is Loose, Quest 21 Printmakers Secrets, Anthony Dyson Catalogue: Metamorphoses, 4th Biennale de l’estampes de Saint Maur Catalogue: Printmaking Int. Wrexham Catalogue: Bienale int. de l’estampes de Trois Rivieres Practical Printmaking, Colin Gale Hybrid Prints, Megan Fishpool Intaglio Printmaking, A&C Black, Mychael Barratt Catalogue: The London Group 95th Anniversary Show Catalogue: The Threadneedle Prize Catalogue: X Biennal Internacional de Grabado, Caixanova 08 Catalogue: Sovereign European Art Prize Catalogue: Fete de la Gravure, 6th Biennale Int. de la Gravure, Liege Catalogue: Celeste Art Prize Catalogue: The Weight of Smoke, De Queeste Art Catalogue: 04 Bienal 2007 internacional de gravura Douro

2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1994 1993 1992 1990 1989

Catalogue: The London Group Open Printmaking Handbook, Etching, by Colin Gale Catalogue: L’image, Le Reveil Figuratif Catalogue: MAAPS 1st Print Biennale Catalogue: 5th Biennale de Gravure, Liege Catalogue: Wrexham Print International Catalogue: The London Group, Bankside Gallery, London Catalogue: Biennale de Trois-Rivieres Catalogue: Unladylike, East West Gallery, London Catalogue: Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London Catalogue: Silence is Easy, De Queeste Art Catalogue: Uncanny Tales, FWA Catalogue: Contemporary British Art Catalogue: Uncanny Tales, De Buytensael Catalogue: New Hall Art Collection Catalogue: Wrexham Print International Catalogue: Biennale Internationale d’estampe cont. de Trois – Rivieres Catalogue: Sometimes I Dream About Reality, text Laura Gascoigne Catalogue: Art, Age & Gender, FWA Catalogue: All of Me, East West Gallery, text by Morgan Falconer Catalogue Modern & Contemporary British Art, The Millinery Works Catalogue Pictures to Live With, The Millinery Works, London Catalogue Burying the Hatchet, The Millinery Works, London Catalogue Woman on Man / Man on Woman Catalogue Undercurrents Jane Czyzselska Catalogue, Galerie Reisel, Rotterdam Sister Wendy Beckett, On Art and the Sacred, Rider Books, London Catalogue British Month, Roy Miles Gallery Catalogue Art for China Catalogue Links of Affinity, Dutch Contemporary Art in Britain, Mary

Public Collections Amsterdam Arts Council Amsterdam Medical Centre Ashmolean Museum, Oxford British Museum Prints & Drawings Collection, London Brooklyn Art Library, New York, U.S.A. Clare Hall, Cambridge Frans Masereel Center, Belgium Guandong Fine Art Museum, Canton, PR of China Merrill Lynch, London Mitsokoshi Ltd,London Museum of Contemporary Engraving, Alijo, Portugal New Hall, Cambridge Rabo Bank, London Risk Publications, London Sakima Art Museum, Okima University of Aberystwyth Print Collection Paintings in Hospitals, London Private Collections In the UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Australia Awards & Residencies 2008 2006 2003

Residency Frans Masereel Center, Belgium Aberystwyth, University of Wales Purchase Prize Originals 06, London Presse Papier Award, Biennale Int. d’estampe Contemporaine de Trois- Rivieres, Quebec, Canada

All works from this exhibition 2009 - 2010

Bed of Nails

oil on canvas

63 x 103 cm

Published by Millennium to coincide with the exhibition ‘Biting the Bullet’ by Marcelle Hanselaar All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers Photography or works by Irene Rhoden Studio portrait by Birgitta Johansson Printed by Active Colour ( ISBN 978-1-905772-39-1

MILLENNIUM Str eet-an-Pol St. Ives Cornwall 01736 793121 m a i l @ m i l l e n n i u m g a l l e r y. c o . u k w w w . m i l l e n n i u m g a l l e r y. c o . u k

Marcelle Hanselaar 'Biting the Bullet'