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caught life

March 4 – June 26, 2023

Looking inside Verwey and Vashchuk

The exhibition offers a view of the intimate inner worlds of two Haarlemse artists: Kees Verwey (Amsterdam, 1900 – Haarlem, 1995) and Maria Vashchuk (Kiev, 1985). Verwey's work is juxtaposed with paintings by Maria Vashchuk, originally from Ukraine, who, like Verwey, is inspired by her immediate surroundings.

Kees Verwey (Amsterdam, 1900 – Haarlem, 1995) is best known for his (self)portraits and monumental studio pieces. Inspired by his most important teacher Henri Boot, he discovered ordinary, everyday objects from his immediate environment and their mutual order as an inexhaustible source for his work. His painter's models were also often people from his immediate circle. Stylistically, he always looked for different solutions, experimenting in particular with a style in which he brought impressionism and expressionism together. His early paintings with an intimate, almost dreamlike character are less well known. The works in this category exude an atmosphere of a loving, domestic life from a bygone era.

Maria Vashchuk (Kiev, 1985) was originally trained as a psychologist and is interested in connections between individuals — or the lack thereof. Since beginning her training as an artist in 2014, Vashchuk's smoothly painted artworks address themes such as the transience or transience of life and what it means to be at home somewhere. Her paintings, made in her Haarlemse studio, seem to give us a glimpse of everyday scenes from contemporary family life. However, the photographic snapshots that form the basis for her paintings often depict friends and relatives from Kiev, for whom Vashchuk's house is only a temporary shelter in times of war. She omits the faces of the figures in her paintings.

Life caught shows that both artists are clearly exponents of different generations. The activities of the figures in the paintings correspond to the era in which they live. However, the way in which these artists have the people lying on the couch in the work, looking thoughtfully ahead, or taking a nap, makes us realize that some aspects of life are human and timeless.

This exhibition was made possible in part by the Fonds Van Zanten and the Municipality Haarlem.