Esther Tielemans 
The Past Inside the Present
18 January – 11 March, 2017


Those who have followed Esther Tielemans (1976) over the years will know that she has tested the outer limits of painting. Beyond simply turning to a single medium and pallet, she seeks to comprehend the foundations of painting and its significance as an art form. Her transformation has been so remarkable that one might forget that Tielemans began as a landscape painter. After her graduation she picked up the trail where the great landscape painters Monet had last left their mark, carefully continuing their journey. This pilgrimage finally led to her monochrome artworks; so glossy and reflective that they place the viewer within the landscape. A new dimension was born, one that would leave Caspar David Friedrich scratching his head, full of self-satisfaction; man is placed directly within this new world, as its center point, but even so, only takes form as a dubious contour.

Her sculptures then followed, used by Tielemans to construct new landscape decors. After the reflection of her epoxy monochromes, one could interpret this next step as a metaphorical mirror: does the ‘landscape’ even exist, or is the artificial human fabrication that we call landscape just as ‘real’ as the mise-en-scène that Tielemans so precisely constructs with her sculptures in the museum gallery? By deconstructing the land, reducing it to facets and colors, the artist tinkers with a deep collective memory of the landscape.

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