SPARK Art Fair, Vienna

24 Mar 2022 - 27 Mar 2022

For SPARK Art Fair 2022 Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo exhibition by Dutch painter Wieske Wester. 

For her recent series of paintings Wieske Wester found inspiration in George Orwell’s dystopian books and essays. Instead of directly referencing for example the role of certain animals in Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, in which, once in power, they suppress and exploit other animals, she searched for their vulnerability: ‘I didn’t paint ‘bad pigs’.There is a duality here. I painted them with the understanding that almost anyone can become a ‘bad pig’ if conditioned in a certain way and under a given set of circumstances.’ For Wester painting is a language which allows for ambiguity, different layers of interpretation, elements that need to be discovered slowly by ‘reading’ between the lines, by looking through the facade.

All Wester’s paintings and drawings can be characterized by a play with the boundaries between figuration and abstraction: ‘I’m not interested in having a portrait look like the portrayed, finding the right colour for Orwell’s cheeks, for example. It is all so distracting. It breaks the rhythm of painting. It makes no sense to me to paint skin on a surface that I consider to already be skin.’ Her works depict the human desire for identity, yet are often peppered with references to sexuality and aggression. For Wester the physical act of painting and drawing is the most direct way to capture both the fluidity and strength of the human spirit.

Wieske Wester (1985, NL) obtained her BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, after which she was selected for a two-year residency at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. In 2015 she graduated from the HISK in Ghent. In 2017 she was nominated for the Royal Prize for Contemporary Painting in Amsterdam. Recent projects include group exhibitions at Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem and CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, Netherlands and a duo show with Jacqueline de Jong at Dürst Britt & Mayhew. Her work has been shown internationally at various venues such as White Crypt in London and the 6th Moscow Biennale for Art and presented by Dürst Britt & Mayhew at LISTE Art Fair Basel, NADA Miami and Independent Brussels. Wester’s work is held in private and public collections, including the LAM in Lisse, Netherlands, Ahold Collection, Rabobank Collection, and the Pedro Moraes Barbosa Collection in Brazil.



Click to read ‘The inner compass’, a specially commissioned essay by Oscar van den Boogaard.


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