The New Force of Painting,
Frissiras Museum, Athene

Christina Sotiropoulou
30 x 23,5 cm, 384 p.
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The new force of painting katalogus

Beweeg de muiswijzer over de afbeelding voor pagina 311:
"De verzamelaar", 2006, olieverf & tempera op doek.
110 x 150 cm.
Frissiras Museum, Athene

|Tekst tentoonstellingscatalogus: • The New Force Of Painting, Frissiras Museum Athens March 14th, 2008 - July 27th, 2008

Text partly mixed with quotes from sections of 2006 monograph Visible Absence

This disposition towards reverie seems to be a common trait among central-European artists, and prevails in the work of the Dutch painter Arie van Geest.

The pronounced spiritual element in his works contrasts with the realism of the Polish artists. His world has the transcedental quality of dreams and is full of symbolism and covert enigmas to be decoded by the viewer.
In The Collector, the androgynous figure with the wreath of thorns on the left is a reference to the Dutch painter George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923).
The figure is sitting next to a peculiar collection of objects that include a Mickey Mouse standing dejectedly before a clock with an image of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. Its hands are stopped at 14.44, seconds before the terrorist attack against the World Trade Center, while a statuette of Alice next to it alludes to the illustrations of J. Tenniel.

This strange assortment also includes a bust of Jesus and a picture of The Infant of Atocha, the Mexican patron saint of prisoners. The viewer is thus called upon to enter the world of this work and use his own experiences to arrive at an interpretation that can stand up to that of the artist's.

This results in a dialogue between artist and viewer which will affect both parties.The dreamlike atmosphere that prevails in all his works reaches its zenith in The anti-image dwarf, a work that treats dreams as its subject, with the dwarf as the artist's alter ego.

He declares that his oeuvre is wholly introverted, and his pictures constitute his defence against harsh reality. In order to cope, he invokes the poetic hord lying inside him to find solace and relief.

Christina Sotiropoulou,
Chief Curator,
Frissiras Museum Athens.
© Arie van Geest