The paintings of Ghent-based artist Adelheid de Witte

“The main tendencies in my paintings are landscape, architecture and linear abstractions. The areas are organized as an entrance, a room or a hall with walls displaying mountains or tropical scenery. All of the scenes possess some exoticness in contrast to asceticism, playing extremes against one another. On the one hand are the deserts and mountaintops that are devoid of life. On the other are the forests and jungles that are full of life. As such, I am not preoccupied with reproducing landscapes per se. My preference rather inclines towards the ambiguous relationship we have towards nature: production and reproduction, authenticity and fakeness. I paint these landscapes in a rather rough, almost abstract way, as soft and distorted environments. The interiors come across as nostalgic due to the use of colours and tend to express a sense of exposed desolation. By adding a variety of items to these compositions, I like to add a sense of playfulness and absurdity. I feel no limitations in terms of choosing a subject matter. Nonetheless several elements are recurring: chairs, sun loungers, planes, recreational equipment and – recently – poles. To me, these objects push the boundaries of fantasy and reality. Pole climbing schools for example do exist. But the poles in paintings such as ‘What to expect from pole climbing school’, ‘Pole Climbing: level I’ and ‘Keep Fit on Tamborine Mountain’ are depicted in a way that enhances the sense of estrangement. The alienation is further intensified by the titles of the works that are descriptions mentioned in hotel leaflets, guest reviews, souvenir shops and fitness centers. The final images create a space for the mind and the viewer is invited to move into these confusing zones.”