At first sight the wall tapestries of Liesbeth Abbenes show a graphic image. With only a few stitches she knows how to capture the illusion of an object or a space on a piece of black, grey or white felt cloth; an inflated balloon, a ventilation grid on a blank wall, a lonely television set transmitting its white noise into a darkened room. At the same time it is striking how detailed Abbenes has worked out parts of the image. The snow on the television screen, for example is made up of thousands of little stitches, which in turn have been cut open by hand like in a handcrafted carpet. In spite of this work intensive method, that is often associated with old-fashioned handicrafts, Abbenes wall hangings have a very contemporary allure. The overall feeling of her tapestries is one of emptiness and abandon.
Liesbeth Abbens was born in 1970 in Asten, The Netherlands and studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, the Rijksakademie of Fine Arts (95-96) and the Skowhegan, Residency program for Fine Arts, Maine, USA (1996).
Working in the fields of fashion, art and advertisement, the Dutch photographer Maurice Scheltens creates still-lifes with ordinary objects that are both hyper realistic and completely artificial. Remote controls, haute couture dresses or cut-out pictures of fruits, vegetables and plants are dangling on cords, balancing on other objects or left all alone, lost in a monochrome background. Scheltens often chooses to expose the materiality of the process in the studio. Pieces of tape, visible lengths of fishing line and cocktail sticks are left as evidence of the handcrafted way of working. These 'imperfect' odds and ends reveal the intrinsic paradox in Scheltens's work. Although each composition is incredibly controlled, it allows room for the false and fictitious. Cut off from their comfortable surroundings of given codes and meanings, Scheltens places his 'real' objects and cut-outs in staged, illusionary frameworks. In this way, he triggers us to reflect on the accepted and conventional codes of visual culture.
Maurice Scheltens was born in 1972 in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands and graduated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague in 1995.They both live and work in Amsterdam.