For Masterpiece 2022 we are pleased to present a solo exhibition for the Dutch artist Carolein Smit.
Carolein Smit’s ceramic sculptures reference mythology, religious iconography and art history to explore the contradictory themes of beauty and mortality. Exquisitely detailed and jewel-like in their finish, all her sculptures are built by hand, reimagining archetypes such as medusas, fauns, ancient kings, and forest animals with a 21st century sensibility.
The exhibition at Masterpiece 2022 is on the theme of an enchanted glade, where forest animals appear alongside mythical creatures from the deeper recesses of our shared cultural imagination. On the one hand are cute sylvan creatures: a hedgehog surprised on a clump of leaves; a monkey protecting his walnut from jealous hands; a large owl peering into the night. Bats hang nearby, unseeing eyes open to the dark, while a fox runs amongst them. Deeper into the forest, mythological characters emerge as if from the depths of antiquity. A faun in peaceful meditation in the company of two little owls; a standing figure, part Medusa, part Artemis of Ephesus, covered in writhing serpents. Alongside them, an intense Man of Sorrow and a hairy Mary Magdalen inhabit the wooded wilderness. This is the forest as a site of myth and folklore that has endured across the centuries: a place both magical and fearsome, where imagination takes on the timeless forms that populate our shared cultural stories.
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 will present a solo exhibition at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris in 2022.