© New York, Ilse D’Hollander - Sean Kelly Gallery

Ilse D’Hollander - The Color of Shadows from June 27 to Aug. 02. 2024

Sean Kelly Gallery
475 Tenth Avenue
New York NY 10018


Sean Kelly is delighted to announce The Color of Shadows, the fifth solo exhibition of Ilse D’Hollander with the gallery. Spanning the latter half of her career, the exhibition includes a selection of oil paintings from the artist’s estate, including To Goethe, 1991, one of only three known serial bodies of work made by the artist. This exquisite curation of intimate paintings emphasizes the harmonious and transformative essence of D’Hollander’s oeuvre — qualities inherent to the processes found in nature that influenced her approach as a painter.

Drawing inspiration from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Theory of Colours,” 1810, D’Hollander’s suite of four oil paintings titled To Goethe anchors the exhibition. In his research, Goethe theorized the complexity of color and how human perception and psychological experience influence its interpretation. In her series, D’Hollander’s color associations exude a poetic and sensitive quality that invites the viewer to be an active participant by completing the work with their own interpretations. “The viewer who turns [their] gaze on my paintings remains even more fundamental,” stated D’Hollander. It is with a skillful hand and delicate approach that D’Hollander’s masterful interplay of hues evokes profound connections far beyond the spectrum of color.

As a painter, D’Hollander’s intuition led her to arrive at a practice that combined total abstraction with discernable elements of the natural world. Found within her paintings are the flourishing landscapes of the Flemish countryside rendered with bursts of thick pigments, resulting in a geometric precision that documents her quaint studio life. D’Hollander’s canvases offer an immersive experience, where each layer of brushstroke reveals nuanced shifts in hue and delicate lines of color, illustrating a deep engagement with the dialogue between representation and abstraction. Her refined palette and minimalist compositions underscore a tangible and sensual exploration of the medium, imbuing each piece with a profound humanistic touch.

In her sole written reflection, D’Hollander observed, “A painting comes into being when ideas and the act of painting coincide. When referring to ideas, it implies that as a painter, I am not facing my canvas as a neutral being but as an acting being who is investing into the act of painting.” This philosophical approach enabled D’Hollander to traverse seamlessly between subtle representation and pure abstraction, harmonizing her internal and external artistic realms. Her work invites deep contemplation, serving as a remarkable testament to the fundamental and generative nature of painting. D’Hollander’s legacy continues to captivate and inspire, offering a poignant exploration of the interplay between form, color, and emotion.

Born in Belgium in 1968, Ilse D’Hollander graduated from the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, in 1988 and the Hoger Instituut voor Beelende Kunsten, St. Lucas, Ghent, in 1991. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including The Arts Club, London; FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; and M Museum, Leuven, Belgium. She has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium; the Provinciaal Cultuurcentrum Caermersklooster, Ghent, Belgium; and the Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art, Brussels, Belgium amongst others.

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