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sylvie zijlmans

After a number of presentations featuring the work of Sylvie Zijlmans at national and international art fairs, we are delighted to invite you to the first solo exhibition of Sylvie Zijlmans (Geertruidenberg, 1964) in our gallery. Her meticulously staged photographs are based on incidents that bring disruption to many people’s lives. Events on a world scale that, as an individual, you can barely relate to but which have a relentless, lasting impact on countless lives. Dramas of devastation and destruction relating to today’s political and economic crisis, reduced to a human scale.

Leaking ceilings, flooded interiors, mould-encrusted walls, collapsing homes. Among all this chaos, Zijlmans presents us with an image that shapes a new order and envisions new possibilities. The photographs have an extraordinary clarity and detail, and are sharply composed. As viewer, the space sucks you in and the characters almost come alive, in situations that are often redolent with ambiguity. A man is dragging a drenched woman along. Is he helping her, or simply moving her to a better spot? Does the man have a particular interest in her or is he merely there to balance the composition of the image? Then we see plant pots from which a new type of liquid plant is flourishing. Or is the fluid actually seeping upwards, through the image?

The scenes in Zijlman’s photos all seem to present us with something on the brink of transition – on the cusp of something new. What goes up…… must come down! The photographs are layered, their meaning manifold and complex, also loaded with allusions to performance, installation and painting.

Zijlmans and her partner Hewald Jongenelis had a solo exhibition at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, entitled The Present. In 2012 her work was also included in the exhibition La La La Human Steps, Istanbul Modern (curated by Sjarel Ex) and Huis Marseille, Amsterdam