top of page

Assesment Report

At first sight, Marie José's paintings look lyrical and abstract, like paintings from the École de Paris in the 1950's. The canvases have a warm tone, and are partly filled with robust, rhythmically painted dots and spots. Some of the paintings have an enigmatic addition: iron rods, bent in twisting geometrical forms., that are attached to the backside of the painting. As we can only see a part of these rods, we have to guess for the complete form of the arabesque. What are they? The answer to this question may be found in Marie José's thesis, in which she questions herself following the title of Paul Gauguin's famous painting 'Where Do We Came From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?' As a descendant of a French Huguenot family that fled to the Netherlands under the religious persecutions under Louis XIV, Marie José feels uncannily related to the masses of people and it makes her wonder how to relate to the lives of the unfortunates we hear every day in the news. While looking at newspaper photos of refugees, she discovered that people in the refugee camps invariably sleep under cutely decorated sheets. The ornamental patterns on the sheets served Marie José as the inspiration for the paintings in the show. Innocent viewers may not even now, and can harmlessly enjoy the paintings. But whoever tries beyond the surface, is offered a surprising view om a poignant topical issue. May the nice rods behind the paintings be read as a hint to the wandering lifelines of the refugees, sleeping under the nicely decorated sheets?

Onno Schilstra


bottom of page