Eliza Douglas, It Could be True, 2017. Oil paint on canvas, 210 x 180 cm. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris. Photo: Ivan Murzin.
Museum Folkwang launched its new exhibition format 6 1/2 Weeks, each time showcasing a new contemporary artist. Up to six times a year, young artists are given a platform to present their latest work for a period of just 45 days. US artist Eliza Douglas kicked off the exhibition series with her show My Gleaming Soul: her first-ever museum showing.
Douglas (b. 1984) is an artist, musician, and performer, currently studying at the renowned Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. The display Eliza Douglas – My Gleaming Soul (on show from 16 February to 2 April 2017) presents ten new works by the New York artist.
Douglas’s large-scale paintings captivate the eye through their bold style and a striking recurrent motif: the artist’s hands. Occasionally shown in combination with a pair of feet and always depicted against a white background, the naturalistically rendered hands are the pivotal subject of her vibrant paintings. Douglas combines representational and abstract painting by creating novel transitions from one to the next.
As a trope in the history of art, the artist’s own hands have long been the closely linked with the act of artistic creation. In Douglas’s work the creative hands appear to dance around the – wholly absent – body, at the end of a pair of grotesquely long arms. Douglas’s canvases provide a fresh and innovative comment on the time-honoured act of painting using paint applied with a brush. Her form of metapainting is one of the many possible answers to the question of what painting can look like in the 21st century.
With its short turn-around times and quick planning, the new exhibition format 6 1/2 Weeks aims to introduce up-and-coming artists to the public in a straightforward and comparatively spontaneous manner. The format features recent works by young artists and admission is free. The exhibition space will feature the work of six newly discovered artists a year.