Artist In The Spotllight Machteld Aardse

Machteld Aardse(1972) is a multimedia artist based in Amsterdam. After getting a Masters Degree in Art History at the University of Amsterdam, she completed a BFA in Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and an MFA in Public Art at the Dutch Art Institute. She is part of De Beeldvormers, Art Partner and the Moving Academy for Performing Arts (MAPA). Her works have been exhibited among others at the Nederlandsche Bank, the New York Islands Festival, the Women’s Art Festival in Aleppo Syria, Museum het Rembrandthuis, the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the Amsterdam Light Festival. Together with Aida Grrovestins she produced the documentary film Quitte le Pouvoir and made drawings for the animations in the film.



Machteld Aardse’s work, in all its versatility, shows a recurring fascination for the performativity of drawing. To Aardse, a drawing is always more than a depiction of the world, a drawing is an intervention in the world. By sitting down with a sheet of paper and a bunch of pencils or crayons and asking someone to strike a pose, a small, intimate theatre comes into being: the person portrayed tries out different poses, a dialogue unfolds, time passes. By means of videos, installations and performances, Aardse then explores the implications of the ‘drawing scene’ and what is revealed after the portrait is completed. A finished portrait always shows more than just the person portrayed and the way she wants to present herself to the world. By hanging a portrait somewhere, or by simply giving it to the person who just has been drawn, a second scene emerges. We are now not just confronted with the fantasies, desires and fears of the individual who is being subjected to the artist’s gaze, we are also being confronted with how these feelings are embedded in a concrete social context. (Yasco Horsman)


This article was written in collaboration with PragArtWorksPragArtWorks is a gallery base on the main street of Vinohradska in Prague 2, they specialise in Czech Contemporary Artists, from a large range of genres such as glass, sculpture, photography, collage and mixed media. To see more of this artist’s work or to get in the possession of one of their pieces please visit PragArtWorks’s Website HERE

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