Still-life by Margriet Smulders (Bussum 1955) is characterised by a sumptuous visual language. She finds inspiration in the Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century, in the painters of the Flemish Baroque, in eighteenth-century Italian and German ceiling paintings, in Greek mythology, literature, poetry, contemporary society and herself.
Her photos are close to the tradition of the Dutch still-life because of her dedication to material expression and her use of symbolism. In addition, her work refers to the colourful and limitless Baroque and Rococo ceiling paintings. While Smulders’ photos are now represented worldwide in numerous museums, company collections and private collections, they are created in the privacy of her studio:
“In my studio, there is a mirrored container into which I pour water, sometimes mixed with milk or ink or beet juice. I drape pieces of cloth and branches above my mirrored container and in the water I put feathers, winding glassware and blooming flowers from our flower garden. I take the photo diagonally from above so that I can see the composition reflected in the mirror below the rippling water surface.”
Contour Gallery’s latest exhibition highlights the well-known Dutch female artist Margriet Smulders, who has been working for over 25 years in art and has a deep fascination with the changeability of nature and femininity.Her photography is reminiscent of eighteenth-century ceiling paintings that offer a glimpse into eternity. With flowers, fruit, shells and water – the fruits of nature – Smulders creates sumptuous paradises.
In her layered still lifes, Margriet bends nature to her will in an attempt to order the chaos. She invites us to indulge in an abundance of colours and shapes.