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Oil in a Bottle


70 x 70 cm
28 x 27.56 in






New work by Marie Cecile Thijs

, United States

Influences reminiscent of the 17th century Old Masters are recurrent in the artist’s work, simultaneously however her personal interpretation is completely contemporary. Thijs plays with her
subjects by bringing them to life unexpectedly, or on the contrary freezing them in time and space. Objects become characters. They move away from their daily destination, assuming a completely new personality. This provides intriguing creations, where tranquility, motion and sometimes also humor meet. In the works of Marie Cecile Thijs the unusual is usual. She is specialized in staged photography, and created series like White Collar, Food Portraits, Amazones, Horses, Flowers, Birds & Vases, Majestic and Human Angels. She has also taken many portraits of writers, cooks, politicians, designers and artists.

Her Food Portraits, contemporary still lifes with a strong surreal element, were first published in the Financieele Dagblad in 2012 to wide acclaim. This innovative series has since been included in multiple museum exhibitions. For this series Marie Cecile Thijs approaches the subject without any existing assumptions, resulting in unexpected and wondrous connections. Through its meticulous execution the wondrous flying objects often depicted in this series appear utterly realistic and commonplace to the viewer.

Marie Cecile Thijs primarily works in series. These continue to expand as new works are created and her series are therefore never officially concluded. Important series such as White Collar and the aforementioned Food Portraits present an insight in the compositional finesse of the artist. In combination with the contrast in the use of light and dark in her work, the result is a surrealist imagery.

In the most recent scenes Green Scenes the artist has created a futuristic world in which mutations have taken place between plants, animals and technique, resulting in an organic symbioses. Marie Cecile Thijs shows us fantastical still lifes from her imagined reality, a fusion between abstract and figurative elements.

Other series, such as Horses and Amazons, in which Thijs also are an indication of the profound insight of the artist in her subjects. The intimate yet direct portraits of animals and persons alike confront the viewer with a sense of familiarity and comfort. On the other hand the directness of these stylized portraits also create a sense of discomfort and abstraction. The artworks are therefore both minimalistic and vigorous. This duality between Old & New, Light & Dark, Intimacy & Distancing - is key to the work of Marie Cecile Thijs.

Multiple series by Marie Cecile Thijs have been published in several media, most notably Het Financieele Dagblad (FD Persoonlijk) and French newspaper Le Monde. Her work has been included in the collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego (MOPA), the National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg (Mnha), the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond (VMFA) and many public and private art collections. She has published several books, including Characters (2013) and Food Portraits (2015).

Marie Cecile Thijs had her first retrospective in Museum aan het Vrijthof Maastricht in 2015. In 2016 she took part in the exhibition Dutch Identity in Museum De Fundatie Zwolle and BAL! at Soestdijk Palace. In November 2016 her 3 month during solo exhibition started at 10 Corso Como Shanghai, China, in cooperation with the Consulate of The Netherlands in Shanghai. In 2017 her works from the series Majestic and White Collar were exhibited in Kunsthal Rotterdam (exhibition Cat Love, Nine lives in the arts). In late 2018 and early 2019 her solo exhibition ‘Between Heaven & Earth’ was on view at Museum Jan Cunen, Oss, The Netherlands. For SmithDavidson Gallery she has participated in numerous group  shows and art fairs, including TEFAF Maastricht, Zona Maco Mexico City and Art Miami. Her solo exhibitions include Argentum (2016) and SOLO (2019-2020).

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SmithDavidson Gallery, based in Amsterdam, Mexico City and Miami, exhibits a dynamic range of leading modern and contemporary art in various mediums. The gallery’s mission is to acquire and present the work of significant artists whose work has either defined or is expanding the parameters of the visual arts. Founded as Leslie Smith Gallery in 1969, the...

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