press release

In her second solo exhibition at Galerie Fons Welters, Sara van der Heide (1977) will present some eight new paintings. The paintings were especially created for the exhibition and are manifestly conceived of as a unity. This creates a clearly defined atmosphere for the show.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Sara van der Heide doesn't interweave commentaries on art or everyday (news)facts into her work. Her paintings for her are meant to convey universal human themes. Before, she often experimented with her material, egg temper, as a means of expression on its own. In her new paintings however, these material effects cannot be retraced. The materials, egg temper and oil paint, do not put themselves in the spotlight. They now work together with color, light, line, tone, contrasts and composition. The possibilities of painting are explored firstly in the unity of every painting and the exhibition as a whole.

The seminal subject matter in this exhibition is death, mourning, insanity and imagination.

The paintings contain references to war, nationalism, territorial instinct and self-protection. The starting point for a painting can be a photograph, made by the artist or found in a newspaper or magazine. The painting itself however will never contain any news value.

Stories can be another source of inspiration, both literary stories and personal, little stories. One of the paintings in the exhibition started around the story of a boy who thought bats kept flying around his head. All these elements are then reworked into a new image. In the tension between the shaping of decay, dirt and sadness on the one hand, and on the other hand to render all this with a definite amount of serenity, therein for Sara van der Heide lies the ultimate form of beauty.

The paintings of Sara van der Heide show us how the artists looks at the world with wonder, respect and modesty. She presents us her personal view on the intangibility of things and on the fears and desperation of man. Efficiently, evenly and most certainly not in a casual way, she explores the impact of images, and what it is that gives an image expressivenes and meaning. Her depictions look familiar at first glance, the picture seems to remind us of something, it can even be repulsive. But then the surplus value of painting takes its stand: the image is more than the picture conveys at first sight. Standing in front of a painting by Sara van der Heide, for a moment a world can be opened up. It is a world that prompts recognition.

Merel van Tilburg

only in german

Sara van der Heide