Ria van Eyk

An oeuvre

28 Aug - 30 Nov 2014

2014 Visual Art Prize of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Noord-Brabant awarded to Ria van Eyk

Ria van Eyk (1938) is considered an exceptional pioneer in the abstract textile art that began to flourish during the late 1970s. She was therefore among those key figures who paved the way for an emancipation of textile art, particularly due to her monumental employment of textiles in architecture. The culmination is her Sterrenhemeltapijt (Starry Sky Carpet) (1997-1998) which was commissioned by the Building Department of the Dutch government for Amsterdam's Royal Palace. Since the mid 1980s Van Eyk has also been producing paintings and works on paper in which she expresses, with color and gold leaf, her fascination with and fondness of the Italian Renaissance.

The prize has been awarded for her consistent and balanced body of work, as well as its distinct and cogent points of departure: the 'grid', 'color, 'line' and 'light'. Her oeuvre is characterized by simplicity and clarity in terms of form and material, both in her textile work and—from the mid 1980s onward—in her paintings. Another unusual aspect is her search for the field of tension between pure form and personal lyricism.

Throughout her long and consistent career, Ria van Eyk has continued to seek new approaches. Her efforts to take textile art beyond the context of craft, and to regard it as a full-fledged visual medium, have also played a role in her nomination for this prize. Her teaching posts at art schools within the Netherlands and abroad have moreover allowed her to play a significant role, both as a person and as an artist, for later generations.

Annual Art Prize

With the annual granting of the prize, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Noord-Brabant focuses on artists who have managed to continue expressing their independent outlook in the medium which they have mastered. Because of this, these artists truly influence our way of seeing and our understanding of life.

The prize rotates among different disciplines (visual art, theater, music and dance) every four years. Within the visual arts the prizes are distinguished into an incentive prize, a recognition prize and an oeuvre prize.