The spatial works of Elise van Staveren start from observation, memory, desire and a mind set to always keep asking questions. By following this attitude, Van Staveren produces her works in a way that sets them free from rigid definitions, consequently undermining the idea that paintings should always be flat, square surfaces. As they are constructed from intimate elements, Van Staveren engages in a process to communicate and enhance the ambiance of the moments on which her work reflects.
By allowing her work to take many shapes, Van Staveren both creates paintings and uses them as building blocks within her works. Depictions of personal moments and painted memories suddenly become three-dimensional objects, while everyday flat surfaces are replaced by paintings. This provokes the spectator to let go of their definitions of the difference between surface and painting. By utilising the exhibition space as an environment created by her works, Van Staveren intends to keep her audience on their toes. Entering the grey space between painting and object, her work reminds us that it is no simple means to an end, but rather a gateway into an ongoing adventure.
(Text by Menno Vuister)