World Artists and their Story, 4 - Christie van der Haak
Christie van der Haak works with fabrics. I had my first acquaintance with her work at the exhibition ‘Delft White’ in Gemeentemuseum The Hague.
The idea of presenting Delft White using the colorful fabric designs was excellent. White images and objects got a new glance by the tight, colorful environment. That was also the opinion of the director of The Hague Gemeentemuseum.
Tempel, in his opening word of the exhibition: ‘Delft White is furnished by Asmir Ademagic and Christie van der Haak. It came out beautifully. The colorful fabric designs are an architecture in which the images get an optimal appearance.’
Indeed, one can speak of architecture with all those big blocks and tables of different height and width with different fabric patterns. I met Christie van der Haak and her fabric designs later at the Design and Craft event Meesterlijk at the Westergasfactory, her large format fabric rolls hanging on the wall.
Christie van der Haak: ‘For Delft White I used a series of fabrics which have come this year on the market. The collection, the Christie van der Haak collection, is produced by the American firm Fabricut. It consists out of covering fabric and a nice series of curtains, all of them jacquard woven with four colors. You can find it at S. Harris (http://sharris.com/), a line for which six designers have designed fabrics.
The Delft White was shown in the museum on tables covered with black clothes. They have the same complex patterns, all woven with four black yarns. When you walk along, you see patterns of a black damask lighting up.’
Saints, flora and fauna
Christie van der Haak (1950) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She teaches there now. She began her career as a painter in the first half of the eighties. In recent years she mainly works with textiles and ceramics. In recent years she built an impressive list of solo- and group exhibitions.
The concepts originate from a mental conversation with weapons, saints, fragments of paintings, flora and fauna and other sources of inspiration. Separate motives are mirrored and / or doubled which creates very peculiar patterns.
Jacquard woven textiles
The formal language of the work is built around organic and geometric shapes. Her use of color is rich and sometimes overwhelming. Her textile designs are also used in furniture. They sometimes remind of designers from the first half of the 20th century such as Chris Lebeau and Lauweriks.
Patterns, ornaments and figures that occurred in her paintings are, almost literally, transfered to ‘paint’ directly on the textiles. She workes almost exclusively in jaquard woven textiles. She ‘paints’ with the computerized Dornier Machine by continually changing colors and patterns.
The Lacrymae series
Recently she made the Lacrymae (tears) series. The weeping madonnas on the tapestries are surrounded by a fragmented pattern of ornamental forms. Because of their size from three to five feet and the intense, saturated colors the fabric wall hangings make a stunning impression. Christie van der Haak translated her Lacrymosa paintings into textiles, the mourning madonnas coming from paintings by painters like Rogier van der Weyden.
The fabrics that were made in this way are autonomous works, but suited as well to upholster furniture or act as wall hangings. Free work of Christie van der Haak is in many museum and private collections, like The Groninger Museum, The Noordbrabants Museum, SMAK in Ghent, Gemeentemuseum The Hague , ABN AMRO Bank Art Foundation, AKZO Nobel Art Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Christie van der Haak works with the Textile Museum Tilburg and a weaving mill in Germany. For every weaving the colors and patterns are re-assembled so that the character of the pattern changes in expression. Her fabrics are for sale at Silvera http://www.silvera.nl/