Carolein Smit’s ceramic sculptures reference mythology, religious iconography, and art history to explore the contradictory themes of beauty and mortality. Her practice reimagines archetypes such as medusas, fawns, madonnas with infants, ancient kings with treasure troves, and enchanted forest animals, and presents them with theatrical overtones to lend them a 21st century sensibility. Her ceramics are exquisitely detailed and jewel-like in their finish, as a means of making her challenging subject matter more alluring. In doing so, Smit continues Western art’s long history of addressing grand themes through precious objects: her works are a continuation of the tradition of the memento mori, updated for a contemporary context.
Carolein Smit is an internationally renowned ceramic artist who currently lives in Belgium. Her sculptures feature in many important international collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; Drents Museum in Assen (NL); Grassi Museum, Leipzig; Koc Collection, Istanbul; Asante Collection, Switzerland; Olbricht Collection, Germany, Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection, Portugal, Fuled International Museum (FLICAM), Fuping, China; and many more. Her artworks have been exhibited at the Bonnefantenmuseum (Maastricht), Art Basel, La Maison Rouge (Paris), me Collectors Room (Berlin), the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam) to name but a few. Carolein Smit was the subject of a solo exhibition at both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Drents Museum in the Netherlands in 2018, and a solo exhibition at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris in 2022.