Lotta De Beus



    Artist Bio

    (b. 1974, Hamburg)

    Work by the Dutch painter Lotta de Beus has strong ties to her own perception. It tells us that she has issues with taking major decisions. Whether or not the decision taken proves to be the right one, remains a mystery. De Beus visualizes this by not only giving light and darkness a figurative, but also a literal place in her work. In this sense, her work fits beautifully into Dutch traditional painting, characterized by the playfulness with which light and dark is utilized. However, de Beus applies this concept in her very specific own way. Paint is applied to the canvas in a number of thin layers. This approach conveys the idea behind the work in a most effective way and maximises the artists’ hands’ support to the expressiveness of the work.

    In her latest series Phantom Pain empty space and dark/light contrast are used to build a visual tension. Figures are sitting, standing or floating in an inner interior. They are caught in indecision, floating to escape from reality, fencing against the consequences of their choices and grinning to the assumption that everything is under control. Often pairs are used in the image: two mirrors, two chairs, two windows, a double bed. The dilemma is the underlying theme that reoccurs in all de Beus’ series of work. The use of black and white visually expresses this dilemma while the tonality shows a world in between where melancholy and nostalgia reign. In the series The Romantic Escape, a title which refers to Romanticism in Europe by the end of the 18th century – curious figures are sitting, standing or dancing in the romantic settings of forests, parks and illuminated fountains. Can they escape the disenchantment of reality or is a ‘romantic’ escape an illusion?
    In 2006, de Beus published her work to the ‘You Gallery’ on the Saatchi website. Saatchi, together with ‘The Guardian’, formed a jury and nominated 30 artists. Following publication in ‘The Guardian’, the readers were allowed to pick ten candidates from this selection. Eventually this selection, of which Lotta de Beus was part was offered an exhibition in London. This formed the glamorous beginning of her career as a painter, with recognition of one of the most important voices in the art world.