Ria van Eyk

Reminiscences of Siena

18 March - 14 May 2006

At the end of the 1950s Ria van Eyk (Venlo, 1938) graduated from Eindhoven’s fairly new Academie voor Industriële Vormgeving, now known as the Design Academy. Initially she concentrated on ‘concrete art’; here the artist expresses her independence from reality through the use of a geometric language of forms. Much of her work has been produced on commission, an example of this being the 600 square-meter carpet which she designed and realized for the reception ahll of Amsterdam’s Royal Palace, on Dam Square, during the period 1996-1999. Aside from working with textiles, by which she established her main reputation, Ria van Eyk has continued to experiment with many other materials and techniques, in which visible reality emerges more and more distinctly as a point of departure. The common factor among these works, which almost always take shape as a series, is her concern for light and its influence on our perception. The series Reminiscences of Siena provides a beautiful example of her approach to this fascination. The adapted postcard of the town’s well-known Piazza del Campo, depicted here, happens to be a rather direct representation of this. The other works, which came about over a period of six years, are again abstract and geometric in form, however. On a series of bright color planes grouped into squares, a fine layer of gold leaf allows scattered glimpses of the underlying painting. The result of this doubling of form, color and rendering of light is astonishing: the covered color shines, more than ever, from beneath the fragile top layer, which also captures and reflects its own light. The Reminiscences are, in their abstract simplicity, extremely sensual images of the shimmering light and warm radiance of the Tuscan countryside.

This exhibition is part of a series of presentations to be held jointly with the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (library, January 15 through March 3) and the Textielmuseum, Tilburg (June 10 through September 24) in 2006. Ria van Eyk: leven en werken, a publication by Sun/Boom, will be available in connection with the exhibitions. Price: € 29,50