Metro 54 | Jack Bell Gallery | London | 2015
Jack Bell Gallery is thrilled to present a solo exhibition of paintings by contemporary artist Raquel van Haver.
‘Metro 54’ brings together two mural scale paintings along with a new series of small intimate portraits. The artist works on burlap, often combining oil paint, charcoal, gypsum, newspaper and ash in heavily textured compositions. This will be her first
exhibition in the UK.
Van Haver offers snapshots of daily life in the South-East of Amsterdam, Netherlands, where
the artist lives and works. She is interested in race and identity, drawing from African, Western, Caribbean and Latin American cultures within her direct neighbourhood. Her painting is raw and masculine, at times monumental and energetic, at others dark and ominous. Negotiations between ‘self’ and ‘other’ appear as recurring themes.
The artist skillfully fuses great traditions of painting and the more contemporary practices of
graffiti in her local surroundings. She begins by collecting imagery, either found or from her
own photography and sketches.
These are then deconstructed and fragmented through
collage to produce a new reality. Surface and subject are finally merged into relief using thick
layers of oil paint. The stories they tell are recognisable to the viewer, but left open and
Text and credits for images Courtesy Jack Bell Gallery, London.