New work at Houston exhibition 'Dissolution' January 5 - February 6th

UNIX Gallery is pleased to present Dissolution, a Houston debut and solo exhibition of paintings from Dutch artist Ellen de Meijer. The exhibition showcases artworks from the artist’s Digital Divide series, which highlights the ever-evolving interplay between personal connectivity and post-modern technology.

On view through February 6, 2016, Dissolution opens with a reception for the artist at Unix Gallery, located at 4411 Montrose Boulevard, on Friday, January 8 from 6 - 8 PM.

An artist Q&A will be held on Saturday January 9, 2016, from 3 - 5 PM.

Burning Ambition | 2015 | Ellen de Meijer

Burning Ambition | 2015 | Ellen de Meijer


Interview with ArteFuse

By John Hood for ArteFuse - see the full interview HERE

Interviewing Ellen De Meijer: The Dutch Painter’s Ceremony Portraits Cross the Digital Divide to Art Southampton

An array of vivid ties spring to mind upon encountering the work of Dutch painter Ellen De Meijer. The first is of Margaret Keane, the American creator of that mid-century phenomenon colloquially known as Big Eyes. And while there are indeed similarities between the two, in tone as well as of features, there’s a different sort of more than meets the, er, eye with De Meijer. That is the more of Dutch painting itself, a lineage and heritage that no American can ever lay claim.

We speak of the Dutch Golden Age tronie (that is, face), a phenomenon that traces back to the 16th Century grotesques created by Leonardo. Breughel the Elder also applied his deft hand to tronies, as did Rembrandt. But whereas the masters concerned themselves with exaggerating the elements of a particular face (or faces), De Meijer strips away the heat to get to the cold hard fact of what matters. You might even say she’s taken out the melodrama, and in its place provided an entirely new perspective in portraiture.

But who are these creatures created by De Meijer? We know she calls the series Ceremony Portraits; and we know her recent Unix Gallery exhibition of said creatures was entitled “Digital Divide.” But that’s about all we know.

Or all we did know, till Arte Fuse reached out to De Meijer on the eve of Art Southampton and asked the neo-Traditionalist to provide background for the cast of characters encompassed in her Ceremony Portraits.

If you had to pin an actual place of origin to the cast of characters captured in your Ceremony Portraits, where might you say they came/come from?

Any metropolitan. My characters are really city people. They are hardcore city people who are the furthest away from nature one can be. People in New York, London, Hong Kong, cities like that.

If you had to hazard some sort of actual bloodline, what ethnic composite might course through their veins?

Definitely old European. My characters have old blood with history flowing through their veins. They are the archetype. THE human.

If you were to now add an era (or eras) to the mix, which era(s) might the characters exist?

The present. These characters have huge family trees that go back centuries, but they are modern clearly. Hence their choice of fashion and their interest in technology. They symbolize the human mind kind of our modern day. But important to note; they are not individuals, they are us. You and me. We all have centuries of history behind our names but share the same color blood.

What language(s) do they speak?

Engels or German. Not both. Leaning towards German. Some Hebrew.

What music is on their playlist?

Mostly Bach, but also Antony [Hegarty], Bowie, Amy Winehouse. There is a certain rebellion in their taste of music.

What cinema provides them the most pleasure?

Movies directed by the Coen brothers. They have perfected the art of visualizing the nakedness of people, their bizarre behavior and absurd send of humor. I love how the Coen brothers show how humans wrestle through their lives. People have no choice but to survive while coping with the burden and weirdness of life. Their opening shots of the Coen brothers typically show how grand nature is and how small and harmful people actually are.

What deities do they find to be the most divine?

Absolutely none. They are all atheist.

Do any of the cast of characters have names?

No, and that is also not possible because they are not individuals but represent THE individual. A woman, a child, a man. But strangely enough my female characters represent THE girl. For some reason she is always more defined by me than my other characters. My latest painting probably shows this best.

Are any of those faces in any way based upon anyone you actually know?

Of course; but that is not the intention. But all gestures, mimic and strong features are based on people I have met throughout my entire life. Big eyes, often eyes that are deep in their case. I try to make sure that my characters look like they to have old roots that go way back.

Finally, why does the Ceremony Portrait cast of characters come to us courtesy of a Digital Divide?

They present a universal time of mankind. The characters more or less unwillingly have to go with the flow of modern society that is characterized by digitalization of our daily lives, which itself is defined by the survival of the fittest.

Is it fair to say you’ve in a way taken the melodrama out of the Dutch Golden Age tronie?

Interview by John Hood

John Hood is a Miami-based wordslinger whose byline has appeared everywhere from NBC New York to The Glasgow Herald. A chronic interviewer, Hood’s gone face-to-face with everyone from Martin Amis and Afrojack to Dita Von Teese and Gore Vidal. While still delivering the occasional Our Man in Miami column for BlackBook and/or A Day in the Life entry for Paste, these days he most frequently bylines for Miami New Times, Culture Designers, Ocean Drive, Tropicult, ADANAI, Fordistas, WD Ventito and, now, Arte Fuse.

 

 

Event announcements by Yplan and Dutch Ministry of Culture

The Dutch ministry of Culture listed 'Digital Divide' as spotlight event on their blog DutchCultureUSA.com, and one of NYC's premier event planner Yplan app features the opening of "the fascinating new show Digital Divide" in their Culture section.




Q&A interview with creative magazine AWEH

Ellen de Meijer – Digital Divide

"The bottom line is that everybody lures others while pretending to be something else." By Victoria Phillips

Ellen de Meijer a Dutch artist living and working out of Amsterdam, will present a solo show of her new series ‘Digital Divide’ in New York’s premium Chelsea gallery, UNIX Gallery. Opening February 5th, through March 5th.

The work has been winning attention since her new work was introduced to the public at the Art Hamptons and more recently Art Basel Miami.

De Meijer’s success story is a culmination of over twenty years of the artist’s multi-disciplinary practice the essence of which has been rooted in the painter’s intention to capture the unseen.

While De Meijer began exploring her practice in the medium of photography it was the ultimately the process and physicality of paint that would overtake the artist practice.

The newest series ‘Digital Divide’ are large-scale figurations, which seduce the viewer with their reduced borderline stark backgrounds and a sense of cold emptiness that surrounds the figures. De Meijer’s unique ability to marry the figures with latest gadgets and modern attributes of power fuel the dialogue between the art and the viewer allowing them to discover the implied struggle and alienation.

VP: Hello Ellen, Could you tell us what are you working on right now?

EdM: I am working on a new painting that translates the concept of seeing and being seen in our daily lives. With this I mean that we are all looking at other ones lives and being looked at, at the same time. I am intrigued by the level of protection people build around themselves to cope with possible dangers of our modern life. This can be accomplished by constructing a certain image, or even by faking an online identity. The bottom line is that everybody lures others while pretending to be something else than they actually are.

Read the entire interview here: http://www.aweh.tv/posts/ellen-de-meijer-digital-divide/full 


Announcement solo show Digital Divide

DIGITAL DIVIDE  February 5 through March 5, 2015 by ELLEN DE MEIJER

UNIX GALLERY, 532 W 24th. street, New York, NY. 

Opening show at UNIX Gallery from 6-8pm, February 5th. 

UNIX Gallery is pleased to present Dutch artist Ellen de Meijer’s first New York solo show, Digital Divide. This latest series of paintings follows de Meijer’s successful showings at Art Stage Singapore, Art Toronto and Art Miami. The opening reception for Digital Divide will be held at UNIX Gallery on February 5, from 6 – 8 PM, and runs through March 5, 2015. 

In Digital Divide, Ellen de Meijer’s works express a ruminative perspective from what you don’t see to what you feel everyday. De Meijer intends to capture the impact of our postmodern society on human behavior and the conflict between our basic human instincts of love, greed, fear and community, and our constant desire to progress and succeed. 

“Digital Divide is about all of us. The last 20 years we have experienced an enormous evolution mainly driven by technology and the digital revolution. But our human instincts have not changed, despite that our modern society often expects us to ignore these. It’s this tension that inspires my work,” says de Meijer. 

Ellen de Meijer’s paintings tend to give the viewer a unique feeling of sympathetic tension and pathos, simultaneously.  Her portraits show figures of successful repute, yet vulnerable with an
empty gaze. De Meijer’s figures are armed with digital gadgets such as Google Glass or iPhones, which refer to our zeitgeist of access to information and power. This proliferation of technology be
comes a point of dependency while our human instincts docilely move to the background. Often they are portrayed with small, bizzare objects or wearing rubber cleaning gloves that are symbolic of a societal obsession with sterilization and unattainable perfection. 

Ellen de Meijer (b. 1955) is known in Europe for her fine technique and level of detail in her work. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg (the Netherlands) and owned an appraised art school in the Netherlands for many years. Various European art collectors, such as the Dutch art collection of the Van den Broek Foundation, hold de Meijer’s work.

Review by Wall Street International Magazine

Read the entire review of the summer show at Wall Street International magazine

(...) Her ruthless "ceremony portraits" address what Ellen de Meijer regards as the derailed and distorted human qualities that determine modern mankind. Her subjects, placed in the center of the canvas, stare senselessly and indifferently out from their empty surrounding as they form the solitary center of their own universe. The disproportionate bodies of sophisticated business people and small children equipped with digital gadgets reflect the struggle of communication in today's digital age. Their solemn and worn expressions hint at a hid-den battle for understanding. Beginning her artistic career in photography with a fine arts education in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg, the Netherlands, de Meijer began to combine the truth of a real image with the fantastical ability of paint into a "complete image;" one which marries both the seen and the unseen. (...) 

Shared Sight by Ellen de Meijer, © 2014 Ellen de Meijer

Shared Sight by Ellen de Meijer, © 2014 Ellen de Meijer

Review by art blog TheVernissage - Pop it Out

Read the entire review of the summer show at TheVernissage.com

(...), we encountered Ellen de Meijer’s series of portraits. In the paintings, the subjects were presented in black and white, and colors could be found only in the details: dresses, headphones, glasses and gloves. The figures were presented frontally with a fixed gaze that recalled archaic sculptures. Nevertheless, these details spoke to modernity and to the era of technology; such as in a portrait of twins were one was wearing headphones. The immobility of the composition made it look like a still life: as if every component was an object, cold and lifeless. (...) 

Shared Sight by Ellen de Meijer, photography by Federizio's, TheVernissage

Shared Sight by Ellen de Meijer, photography by Federizio's, TheVernissage


Group Summer Show 2014 UNIX Gallery

We're very pleased to invite you to the Summer Show at UNIX Gallery which through to september 6th 2014. The gallery is showing work by Gavin Rain, Zhuang Hong Yi, Fabrizio Cestari, Marcello Lo Giudice and Alexi Torres,  and is showing 'Best Friends', 'Shared Sight' and 'Que Sera Sera' by Ellen de Meijer

Summer Show UNIX Gallery - July - September 6th 2014, photography by George Sierzputowski

Review by HamptonsArtHub on Ellen de Meijer at ArtHamptons 2014

Read the entire review of the ArtHamptons 2014 art fair at HamptonsArtHub.com 

Couldn't make ArtHamptons this year? Here's why HamptonsArtHub thinks it was the strongest show so far and why the details in Ellen's work keep you staring.

"(...) Portraying the aggressive side of human nature are portraitures by Ellen de Meijer (b. 1955, Amsterdam). Exhibited with UNIX New York, the paintings each feature slightly macabre people from contemporary society. The figures can don business suites or dresses but don’t look for an expression. On view at ArtHamptons are paintings from de Meijer’s “Digital Divide” series featuring “ceremony portraits” of human qualities that have become distorted from man’s modern struggle to survive, according to an artist statement. Visually, this struggle is depicted through interpretive archetypes of sophisticated businesspeople. Like life, the obvious or eye catching can be a distraction for the heart of the matter.

While the figure’s oversize faces that also disturb from the lack of human emotion is what makes people stop and stare, it’s the details that keep them there. Stare back at the picture of a bizarre girl going eye-to-eye with you…but look down to notice the strange dog at her feet and her iPod on. She’s look at you but she’s not listening. Consider the suited-up man who seems about to start giving you grief, with his pack of business posse to back him up, but notice that they may not really be with him.

de Meijer’s intent is to reveal what might go unnoticed about her figures. Behind the bravado or conquering aggressor, there are underpinnings of smallness, emotional limitation and vulnerability, according the artist statement. Still, there’s hope. The children depicted in “Digital Divide” may surmount and survive the onslaught of a relentless digital information world and the hunt for material wealth. The adults may be a different story. de Meijier is based in the Netherlands. (...)" - HamptonsArtHub, by Pat Rogers, July 13th 2014

Ellen on ArtStack - a great new way to discover and share art

We believe the mixture of technology and art can lead to great things. ArtStack is a great example of this. ArtStack is a beautiful new social art platform that enables people to stack art they like and share this with friends. The vision of the creators of ArtStack is that people discover new art they like by referrals. We couldn't agree more. Make sure you download their app as well!

You'll find Ellen's art on ArtStack HERE