Maria Barnas

Maria Barnas 1973

Lives in Bergen. Works in Amsterdam.
Represented by:

Annet Gelink Gallery

Visual artist, poet and writer Maria Barnas focuses her work on the power of language in shaping reality. Her long-term research on whether words can be trusted as carriers of anything solid investigates the capacity of words to create new images. Does language consist of images? Can you pronounce a shape? Barnas builds narratives and alternative histories around history-as-we-know-it and what is presented as factual. Her work delves into the power structures that language exudes on a day-to-day, art-historical and political level. Moreover, her work sits at the heart of poetry's ability to both heighten and obscure our notion of reality.

Market position


Portrait of Maria Barnas for the Hollandse Meesters serie
Maria Barnas (b. 1973, Hoorn, The Netherlands), A Brief History of Fame, 2015 'A Brief History of Fame' is about the dark side of fame, and about how quickly it fades. Maria Barnas responds to Van Gogh's letter of 19 February 1890. Her installation of ‘trophies’ that are dripping, melting or not entirely successful shows the flip side of heroism: it does not last forever. What do Vincent van Gogh’s ideas and insights mean to artists today? In the exhibition 'When I Give, I Give Myself', 23 contemporary artists respond to letters written by Van Gogh. The exhibition is was view at the Van Gogh Museum from 20 May 2015 until 17 January 2016.
Mister Motley: 'Kunst Is Lang' with Maria Barnas
VPRO 'Dichterbij' Maria Barnas DichterBij is a series about contemporary Flemish and Dutch poets.
Portrait of Maria Barnas for the Hollandse Meesters serie


Barnas schroeft haar zinnen zo in elkaar dat ze als vanzelf lyrisch en meerduidig worden.. En zo trakteert Maria Barnas mij op verassend beeld na verassend beeld, in een bundel waarin de mens op afstand blijft en toch verschrikkelijk nabij is, als pleister op de wonde tegen de ontheemding, de twijfel en de naderende duisternis, 'woest en groot'.
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De Groene Amsterdammer

In corporate collection:



1973 Born in Hoorn Education and Residencies 2014 Baltic Art Center,Visby, SE 2009 Residency Made in Mirrors, Recife, Brazil, BRE 2008 Roland Holst Huis Bergen, NL 2007 American Academy, Rome (Fonds BKVB), IT 2001 Galerie du Jour, Paris (Agnès B), FR 2000 Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, NL 1998 Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, NL Grants / Prizes 2015 Elisabeth van Thuringen Project prize 2014 Anna Bijn prize for Jaja de Oerknal (book of poems) 2014 Nomination for VSB Poetry Prize 2008 J.C. Bloem Poetry prize 2004 Cees Buddingh Prize for Poetry 2010 Basisstipendium Fonds BKVB 2009 Projectsubsdie Fonds BKVB 2007 Letterensubsidie Fonds der Letteren 2002 Startstipendium Fonds BKVB Solo Exhibitions 2018 - 2019 Song for three rooms, Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo, NL 2017 Sputter Fiction, Nationaal Glasmuseum, Leerdam, NL 2016 The Planet O, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL 2014 Then, Then, The Bakery, Annet Gelink Gallery, NL 2012 Apple of my Eye double-sided camera obscura cinema, built in public space, Bergen, NL 2011 The Lost Park (film + vinyl) MAMAM, Recife, BR 2010 The Living Room, Klemm's gallery, Berlin, DE The Lost Park, Schunck Glaspaleis, Heerlen, NL 2008 Reposition, Buro Leeuwarden, NL Masterpieces, Scheltema, Leiden, NL 2001 One Room to say nine goodbyes in, Playstation Fons Welters, NL Group Exhibitions (selection) 2019 State of Transparency, Looiersgracht60, Amsterdam, NL 2018 Face, Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch, NL 2017 Origin, Lensvelt, Amsterdam, NL Cross Works, DordtYart, Dordrecht, NL 2016 The Nine Day Week, Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, LT Unresolved, De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam The Luser Story, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw The Planet O, The Jolly Joker, Amsterdam Reading Anarchism, BAK Utrecht Silence Out Loud, Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen Rhubarb Rhubarb, Museum De Hallen, Haarlem 2015 The Aesthetic of the Fragment, Panache Towers, Antwerp Lady Windermere's Escape, Rietveld TV Back to the Future, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam Ars Poetica Film Festival, Bratislava, Slovakia When I give, I give myself, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam 2014 Beating around the bush, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, NL Denn alles was den Gesetzen des Verstandes und der Vernunft widerstreitet, ist freilich unmöglich, Meinblau Berlin, DE ReVerse Poetry Film Festival, Amsterdam, NL 2013 Beelden op de Berg, Wageningen , NL Shapeshifting, Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, NL Seeing is Believing, Witte de With, Rotterdam, NL 2012 ToT Zover, Nederlands Uitvaartmuseum, Amsterdam, NL Facing Forward (visual essay) Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL Opera Aperta, text contribution in lightbox to the Dutch Pavillion at Venice Biennial , IT In- and outside- writing, Voorkamer, Lier, Belgium, BE 2010 Noord Holland Biennial, Schermerhorn, NL The Chained Lady, The Miscroscope & The Southern Fish, SOFA Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand, NZ The Storyteller, iCI, New York, NY The Storyteller, Reina Sofia, Madrid, ES 2009 Questioning History, Fotomuseum Rotterdam, NL Every Version belongs to the Myth, Projects Arts Centre Dublin, IE Take the Money and Run, De Appel/ Witte de With, NL 2007 Just in Time, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL A for Alibi, De Appel, Amsterdam, NL 2006 Again for tomorrow, Royal College of Art Galleries, London, UK Mercury in Retrograde, De Appel, Amsterdam, NL Work in public space 2012 Oogappelhuis Bergen, assignment DSP Amsterdam, NL 2005 Binnenzee, SKOR, assignment SKOR Amsterdam, NL Fairs 2017 Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL 2016 Amsterdam Art Fair, Amsterdam, NL Screening 2014 The International Cosmonaut, film presentation at ReVerse Poetry Festival Amsterdam and Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht 2013 Seeing is Believing, visual essay for lecture series by Witte de With Rotterdam. 2012 Als. De. Dood., film presentation Nederlands Uitvaartmuseum ToT Zover. (litt.: As. In. Death. expression in Dutch for extreme fear.) On the Nature of News Desks and the Need to Get Lost Facing Forward, presentation of visual essay, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL Publications (selection) 2017 Altijd Augustus, Uitgeverij Van Oorschot, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL 2014 UMBRA, publication of 11 poems, with 11 photographs by Viviane Sassen, publisher Oodee, London, UK 2013 Jaja de oerknal (Yeah-right the Big Bang), poetry, De Arbeiderspers, NL Snow is Falling and Written Snow is Falling', text work for Mark Manders publication, Venice Biennial 2013, IT 2011 Fantastisch, collection of columns written for NRC Handelsblad, De Arbeiderspers, NL 2010 The Lost Park, vinyl 2007 The Writing Room 2007 Er staat een stad op (A City Rises), poetry, De Arbeiderspers, NL Collections Bonnefantenmuseum, The Netherlands ABN Amro, The Netherlands AMC Art Collection, The Netherlands Articles and Interviews 2013 Systemen van uitsluiting, Tubelight #87, Vincent van Velsen 2010 In een ben ik het meest thuis gedicht Maria Barnas over het maken van poëzie en beeldende kunst, NRC Handelsblad, 12 Nov. 2010, Birgit Donker Further activities 2016 Member of the the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Initiating of De Gids Gallery, a bi-monthly art presentation & essay, in the literary magazine De Gids 2015 Teaching at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Text & Image 2014 Teaching at Rietveld Berlin, temporary course for Rietveld students of graphic design in Berlin, DE 2013 Shapeshifting, curating of show based on the mechanism of fear in contemporary society curating of show based on the mechanism of fear in contemporary society, Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, NL 2011 Curating and writing essay 'Two, Three Versions of the Imaginary' after Maurice Blanchot, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL 2009 - 2011 Weekly column for NRC Handelsblad, cultural pages, NL 2005 Founding of publishing house Missingbooks, with Germaine Kruip en Maxine Kopsa, that reprints unavailable books. Part 1: Film and publication, on Rodolfo Walsh, NL Since 2008 Advisor Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, NL