World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 117 - Carrie Meijer
In the late nineties Carrie Meijer began making expressive abstract acrylic paintings and gouaches. Later, her art got a tougher character. She started to make use of parallel horizontal lines that were crossed by vertical lines.
Geometric and rhythmic pen drawings arose and linocuts. In recent years she developed an interest in new techniques. Digital, mostly multicolored prints, are the result. One of these prints was nominated in 2012 for the Ilse Boon Graphics Award. She also makes small books with her pen- and digital drawings and more recently photos, which she, whether or not modified, combines with (digital) drawings and monoprints.
Sober and tight
I speak Carrie Meijer at the exhibition titled ‘Dialogue’ in het MLB Gallery in Amsterdam. The abstract lines in her digital drawings and linocuts start talking with the handmade stacked sculptures by Thea Verstraten. Theo Tomson, also an artist, set up the exhibition – in cooperation with Meijer and Verstraten – in an exemplary way.
At the opening, he also gave a talk. About how the conversation between the works could best get going. He decided for instance to put some sculptures on the floor, just below the drawings on the wall. Despite the different nature of the work of the two artists, Meijer and Verstraten, similarities can be recognized. Frugality and austerity for example.
Meijer: “Thea starts with a completely different idea. She has an idea in her head that she carries out. That is not the case with me. The work comes to life while I am busy with it. It sometimes seems chaotic, but it is also very organized. I have a tendency to perfectionism. But occasionaly something goes wrong which surprises me. I like that, to see where the work is moving to.”
Two years ago, Carrie also exhibited in the MLB Gallery. The work was then received well. She therefore wanted a sequal exhibition, but with a different artist. That was Thea Verstraten. They had been exhibiting together twice before, at ‘De Kolk’ in Spaarndam. Joke Sierag was then participating as well. Meijer: “There was a good connection between Thea and me, and in terms of work we formed a good combination.”
Carrie is focussed very much on order. “You will see that if you have a look in my house. It is sometimes even a little scary. I am slowly getting a little bit loose. It’s in my nature.” Order /chaos /patterns /architecture are keywords for her work, which is quite diverse with digital graphics, linocuts, drawings, monoprints, lithographs, felt pen creations, watercolors and acrylic paintings.
In her work, you do not see people. “I started painting large canvases of one meter by half a meter. If something reminded me of configuration, I did not want to see that. But I’m over it now. Now I make smartphone pictures of things that have to do with architecture. Sometimes something is very ugly, a dirty old wall, a stack of pipes, a container, but to me these things can have a certain beauty. I see something aesthetic in it which I try to capture in my cropping/composition.”
The artworks she makes aren’t made to exhibit or sell in the first place. “I like to do it. The hours that I’m here in this exhibition at the gallery I can not work. That rankles a bit.” She has hung little work at home. “Sometimes I hang something in my room, but that is mainly to see if it is finished or not.”
In 1996, Meijer began painting. “I worked for a trading company as a sales representative at the office. A period of the time the work was very boring. If I don’t start something creative I will become unhappy, I thought.” She went to a painting course at Gemma Wingen, an artist who lived with her in the street. Then she continued her training at the ‘Kleine Academie’ of Maaarten Frenken in Amsterdam and the ‘Vrije Academie’ in The Hague and attended a masterclass at ’Vrije Akademie De Leuwenburgh’ in Amsterdam. During this masterclass she visited the studio of Bob Nieuwenhuysen and that proved to be a key moment.
You have to draw!
“Amazing how Bob talked about art and what a fantastic work he made. It would be very inspiring to be taught by him. We agreed that we would discuss my work once a month a year long in his studio. One of the first things he said when he saw my paintings was: ‘You have to draw!’. Initially I didn’t want it. But I finally did. That’s been very good to me. From that moment on there arose other work, small pen drawings. I developed towards the graphic arts.”
Bram van Velde
“I’m a fan of the work of Bram van Velde, especially of his lithographs, and wanted to know how to make it. My eye fell on a newspaper ad, ‘Steendrukkerij Aad Hekker masterclass lithography’. A week long I have made lithographs. It turned out to be nothing for me. But perhaps the linocut was more for me? I bought ten plates linoleum and started gouging. Experimenting with pressing several plates over each other and then see what emerges. Thus arose the first linocuts.”
Only since the moment she is fully dedicated to the art, two years ago, she feels a real artist. “I am very passionate. I’m unhappy if I can not work and hope to do this for years.”
Last year Carrie Meijer had six exhibitions, the last one in Heusden at Gallery Grooots.