Featured Artist

Cécile van Hanja


Cécile van Hanja was born in Corsica (1964) and graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) in 1993. Currently she lives and works in Haarlem (The Netherlands). She was selected by the La Napoule Art foundation for an artist in residence at The Château La Napoule in France and she obtained a 2 years grant from the Mondrian foundation in Amsterdam.
Her work is represented by the Gallery BMB in Amsterdam and the Saatchi Art Gallery, and is part of different private collections in France, The UK, The US, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan and The Netherlands.

‘My source of inspiration is the Modernism at the beginning of the 20th century, especially the architecture of the Bauhaus and De Stijl, which for me is a reflection of order in a time of chaos.
I paint from an inner need to create order in a chaotic world.
The globalization makes the mass culture the big winner.
I think that a work of art is an answer to the obtrusiveness of idealized advertisement aesthetics, a reaction to the avalanche of daily life impressions from the street, magazines, internet and television.
In my studio I create the tranquillity I need to be in direct contact with myself.
By creating something unique and handmade Art gives space to the individual.
My earliest childhood I’ve spent in the South of France, a land where everything was different than in the Netherlands. When I moved to this country in 1972 it felt like I was loosing my roots in an alien country.
This and the impressive man-made structure of my new homeland appeared to be essential for my artistic calling in my later paintings.
From a bird’s eye view, the Netherlands looks like a painting of Piet Mondrian.
The same straight lines one can find in my compositions.
In my paintings the images of modern architecture are based on a rhythmical pattern of verticals and horizontals in which a multi colored labyrinth of spaces and look-throughs is created.
The transparent layered structure of the painting intensifies the depth.
I use different kind of paint in my work. Mostly thin layers of transparent acrylic under a top layer of oil paint. For me the colors imagine light in the painting.
By painting the construction in very fluid paint I emphasize the spatially of the building and the open construction.
Contemporary art is part of a binding story, a story that connects and create unity.
My work roots in this modernistic range of thought.’