Esther Nienhuis: Elsewhere

17 April - 5 May 2013
Mott Street, New York

Esther Nienhuis, Saudade 29, Oil on canvas, 2012

Curiosity for the unknown and a desire to be elsewhere are central themes in the work of the Dutch artist Esther Nienhuis (1977). She is fascinated by the human condition in which Heimweh (longing for the known) and Fernweh (longing for the unknown) intertwine.   

 

In her paintings for the exhibition ELSEWHERE, Esther Nienhuis looks at making perceptible the metaphorical boundary that isolates the here and now from other realities - past, future or imaginary. She translates this concept into a variety of images. In the paintings from the series called Saudade, where views are given from behind rain-covered or sun lit windscreens of a car, Nienhuis approaches this boundary as a physical one. The film of water and the reflection of the sun on the otherwise unnoticed glass partly deform the view. A troubling layer is present always, in between the here and elsewhere. The boundary between both worlds coincides with the canvas of the painting.

 

In her paintings from the series Into the Void glowing mountaintops draw the eye towards infinity. The reflection of the red sunlight in the snow-covered summits suggests a time just before sunrise or after sunset. This indeterminate route of the sun is juxtaposed with the inert mountain-scape and points to the interstitial notion of the sun, the time and the viewer always being elsewhere.

 

Esther Nienhuis studied Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Her painting is figurative and often follows her own photographic work. Her work has been exhibited in Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia and Australia. In 2011 she has won the Dutch Art Prize Gasunie Kunstprijs. In 2012 two of her paintings have been selected for the ZomerExpo at the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag, the Dutch equivalent for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.