The debut of Wieteke Heldens solo exhibition includes paintings and what she refers to as “painthings” and “paintthings.” These works on canvas and paper hint at the conflicting desires to both suppress and emote raw desires and irrational needs. From February 19th until February 22nd she will show drawings, installations, and paintings made at Flux Factory during her six-month residency.
Heldens grew up in an ice cream factory, and now she lives and works again in a factory. She wants to be a machine without feelings and emotions but she is not. Her works expose hardly disguised raw nerves: what we see in these paintings is someone trying to cope with existence. Heldens is consistently inconsistent. With each painting she reinvents herself, almost as if her life depends on it. Yet her works are never melodramatic, rather, they invite us to recognize ourselves and our own existential struggles.
Heldens states: ‘I am pleased to present my second solo show at Flux Factory: “Painting, Painthing and Paintthing, (the verbs).” I will show new work made during my third residency, but also look back at work made during my other two residencies in 2011 and 2012. I will reflect on them, resize them, give them new titles, or destroy them. In 2011 my show was about the “Paintings, Painthings and Paintthings.” Now it is about the “Painthing, Painthing and Paintthing (the verbs).” By giving old work a new meaning, by changing the size and the weight of a painting, by giving a painthing a new title or by destroying paintthings that are not functional anymore. I am also painting new work, painthing new work and paintthing new work. I make paintings, painthings and paintthings. Often I tried to make my last painting but I never succeeded. I am consistently inconsistent and obsessively need the canvas to be able to understand life. In my work I use everything around me but turn these personnel anecdotes into abstract concepts. In my drawings I relentlessly repeat the same deed over and over again. I would like to be like Hanna Darboven or On Kawara, but I am not. There is often a conflict in my work that needs to be solved and that’s why I can’t stop painting’.
Wieteke Heldens (1982, Ottersum) graduated in 2007 at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Followed by a 2 year post-graduate in The Hague named DNA. During this time she worked in Chongqing, China at the Sichuan Fine Arts institute. Heldens exhibited in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and internationally in Switzerland, Belgium, France, Denmark and USA. In 2011 and 2012 Heldens was an artist in residence at Flux Factory in New York. In 2013 Heldens won the Royal prize for painting. She works and lives in New York and The Hague.
Preview February 19 by appointment.
Opening Reception February 20, doors at 7 pm.
Open hours Saturday February 21 and Sunday February 22 from Noon- 5 pm