Elly Richaerts, the unconscious relation between her abstract work and different cultures
One of the most radical developments in the field of art was the birth of modernism in the 1920s as a new art movement. It had become a typical Dutch affair due to the efforts of Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg who founded the magazine “De Stijl”, in which they announced their ideas about art to the world in general and painting in particular. And especially Theo van Doesburg had a great influence in the revolution of art in the vision of Bauhaus.
It had to become a new accessible visual language, independent of reality, abstract, geometric and harmonious. For painters this meant going back to basics with clean lines and surfaces in primary colors, supplemented with black, white and grey. And no green colours to avoid any association with reality.
So much for the past in which this great upheaval took shape. With the ideas of Mondriaan and van Doesburg in her luggage, Elly Richaerts started a painterly quest for the most basic constructivist possibilities that can be derived from the clean lines and angular surfaces in Mondrian's work.
The application of the “Style Message” in her paintings has become an inexhaustible source of inspiration for her, despite the limitations of the basic geometry and primary use of colour.
As far as the colour palette is concerned, she has become a bit unfaithful to the theory of “de Stijl” by not only using the primary colours but also the hues derived from this. "This gives me more possibilities to compose my constructivist visual language in form and colour”, says Elly. Her quest is a personal story with a universal eloquence that, in the footsteps of “De Stijl”, connects the past and the present.
The artist has no influence on how the viewer views these works. The viewer's gaze is determined individually but also culturally. Paintings without meaning, such as by this artist, demand a greater diversity of perspective from the viewer.
In her former life as a painter, she created completely different paintings from which the content was clear: about the cultures of distant people she met on her wanderings across the globe. Once back at home, she incorporated her acquired impressions into paintings about, for example, totem poles, Japanese kimonos and ancestor worship of African tribes. But especially the geometric art of Islam fascinated her. Could that already be the link to her contemporary artwork?
Besides painting, her second passion is portrait photography. Not from the studio, but from the road, from people from cultures other than the Western ones, in their own environment. When she returned home she always had a “treasure chest” full of portraits of special people with whom she felt connected. Captured for the future.
Interested in more work from Elly Richaerts? Please have a look here at Gallerease!