She left and the land was old

About Hannah van Bart

Working from memory and found imagery, Hannah van Bart’s understated portraits explore the relationship between interior and exterior life. Using a subtle palette and sparse, delicate brushwork, van Bart abandons narrative to concentrate on the mood and presence of the seated figures, isolating them in a private, imaginary world. Pointing to an excerpt from Martin Heidegger’s Building, Dwelling, Thinking from 1971—“A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognized, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing”—van Bart notes her interest in showing where and how the presence of the painting starts. The psychological impact of van Bart’s work recalls the emotional intensity of predecessor Alice Neel and peers like Karin Mamma Andersson and Elizabeth Peyton.

Dutch, b. 1963, Maarssen, Netherlands, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands