For the first time since her successful solo exhibition Crying Light at the Gallagher Gallery in Dublin in 2013, the gallery is proud to present a new series of paintings and drawings by Natasja Kensmil.
Kensmil is inspired by the history of powerholders and historical figures. She focuses specifically on the isolation, loneliness and desperation that their power confers upon them – the tragedy of the human condition.
In Gospel Walkers, the artist explores those histories by appropriating themes taken from books of hours, the atrocities inflicted upon Saint Agatha, and the betrayal on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. The themes are Christian, veiled in mysticism. In richly layered works, figures are superimposed, melt into each other, vanish like apparitions or materialise in landscapes. The original source of the image is impossible to identify.
Natasja Kensmil’s oil paintings are rendered in a subdued palette; virtually dry, precise brushwork alternates with thick, vigorously applied paint. The presence of light, delicate lines lends her powerful themes a certain lightness. The dynamism of her brushtrokes animates the painting. Foreground becomes background, and background moves to the fore. Kensmil’s paintings bring a distant past to life, infusing it with meaning for the present.
Natasja Kensmil (1973) lives and works in Amsterdam. Kensmil’s work has been exhibited at venues including KAdE, Amersfoort, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, in the solo exhibition Frozen Queen at Michael Stevenson, Cape Town and recently in Crying Light at the Gallagher Gallery - Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.
Her work is represented in distinguished private collections in the Netherlands and overseas, and is also included in the collections of De Nederlandsche Bank, SCHUNCK Heerlen, AKZO Nobel, Museum Jan Cunen, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (IT), The Monique Zajfen Collection, Gemeente Museum Den Haag and Centraal Museum Utrecht.