Seet van Hout
Purple Spring Green
19 April – 17 June 2023
Seet van Hout – Purple Spring Green
When I visited Seet van Hout a few weeks ago in her studio in Nijmegen to select the works for the exhibition at Galerie Born, Berlin, I asked her shortly after packing the canvases if she had a suggestion for the title of the exhibition. "No, not at the moment, I'll be in touch" Seet replied.
A few days later, then the proposal: "Purple Spring Green". Ok, I said, let's take it.
In Nijmegen I was not interested in the titles on the back of the individual works. Of course, Seet van Hout told me that almost all her works have titles.
Lately, often the names of tulips, Bella Dona, for example, which must be in infinite quantities, at least in the Netherlands. But also from other naming, like Red Water Walk or Spring Love, one can conclude what an important role nature, gardens, the environment play for the work in the studio.
Of course, it is not pure landscape painting that we find, but it is memories and emotions of them that we encounter. The paintings seem to grow from these impressions. Often it is started with acrylic and pastel, often without a fixed plan, a painterly step determines the next and immediately. Until then the drawing element is added. And that is with Seet van Hout no colored pencil or the like, no with her it is an embroidery machine.
At the beginning of the 90s, during a long stay in India, she encountered this craft and after intensive work with this medium, it is no longer to imagine her work without it. She has always been interested in fabrics and embroidery, but it is in her artistic involvement with them that Seet has achieved true mastery.
In addition to the inspiration from nature, a source from which the artist draws for several years is drawing from old books. Medieval manuscripts, anatomy illustrations or botanical drawings, and not least the Bible illustrations of Lucas Cranach. And it is not uncommon, there are quotes from this occupation on her canvases, often drawn with the embroidery machine.
"Purple Spring Green" two shades of color are directly addressed in the title, but behind the third word Spring hides a pure "color fireworks", which we can encounter in the exhibition.
Matthias Fuhrmann, April 2023
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