Meet The Others: Cécile van Hanja
The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.
Cécile van Hanja’s work emphasises the immaterial aspect of buildings by creating open spaces. In her paintings, thin layers of acrylic and oil paint allow the colours underneath to shine through, creating a geometric transparent layered structure and intensifying the depth of the composition.
How would you describe your artwork?
At first sight my paintings show modernistic architecture. I’m inspired by the architecture of ‘Bauhaus’ and ‘De Stijl’. For me, the Modernistic architecture reflects order in a time of chaos. To lift the architecture out of it’s context however, the spaces in my paintings are remarkably empty. This also makes the image surreal. The architecture has become a symbol of alienation by re-contextualizing the commonplace surroundings.
What does making art mean to you?
I paint from an inner need to create order in a chaotic world. I observe that there is less space for individuality in our society. Everybody has to adept oneself and integrate. The globalization makes the mass culture the big winner. In my opinion, making art should create consciousness and filter our perception, so that we can distinguish importance from humbug and provide us a home for our emotions, chaos, and fear. For me, contemporary art is part of a binding story; a story that connects and creates unity. My work roots in the modernistic range of thought. Mondrian as a pioneer in his strive for harmony and unity on the canvas inspires me. In my work, I’m searching for serenity by representing my own inner space. By creating something unique and handmade, art gives space to the individual and that stands out in a world where these things are very rare.
How did you get started making art?
At the Gerrit Rietveld Academie I developed a fighting spirit against the massiveness and the accepted norms. Not long after my graduation of the Rietveld Academie in 1993, I found a gallery where I still show my work and I’ve gotten a grant from the Mondrian Foundation, a governmental fund to develop myself.
What is it like to be part of the Other Art fair?
The Other Art Fair was a good experience. The trip to London itself was already worthwhile. I had been there a few months earlier for the opening of an art exhibition with my work in the Lisa Norris Gallery. But this time I had more time for sight-seeing and visiting museums. I really enjoyed it. The Other Art Fair was well organized and the staff was very friendly and helpful. It was nice to meet fellow artists and to have direct contact with art-buyers. I particularly enjoyed meeting the chief curator of Saatchi Art Rebecca Wilson, with whom I’ve had many email contact during the past years. Nice result furthermore of my participation is that I’ve been approached by different Art institutions to show my work.
What is your favourite piece for sale on your Saatchi Art profile and why?
My favourite piece for sale is my newest painting Cap Moderne. The villa E-1027 is Eileen Gray’s first architectural creation on the French Riviera, in the South of France the country where I have spent my earliest childhood. By painting this villa, a veritable icon of modernist architecture in very fluid paint, I emphasized the spatially of the building and the open construction. A multi coloured labyrinth of ‘look-throughs’ is created and the transparent layered structure intensifies the depth of the composition. Besides the beauty of her creation, I’m also fascinated by the lost idealism of progress and malleability where this modernistic construction stood for.