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An exhibition in an ancient context, featuring art of the future; geometric and abstract, with Kubutopia by Elly Richaerts from Echt. No talking about the artistic “Stijl” movement of the artists Mondriaan and van Doesburg. No explanation needed about this pioneering art movement “De Stijl” from the beginning of the century, because it's evident that Elly's work, her "VAKWERK" (skilled craftsmanship), is inspired by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. So, not talking about “De Stijl”. Period.

Ingrid Henssen

And no discussion about the Bauhaus either. How they sought a accessible visual language with their philosophy, and as a counter-movement to Art Nouveau, avoided all floral or decorative curvatures, fully embracing line, form, and color, because Elly's works are composed like blooming flowers, highly varied and decorative in nature.

Elly's work is more than just Mondrian. Mondrian worked destructively, flattening space. He said about it himself: "Some time ago I started a thing entirely in squares. So. I want to see if that's possible. Intellectually, I would say yes. And there's also something to be said for eliminating the diagonal, because we move in a world of vertical and horizontal objects." We recognize his work by the bright primary colors. Red and yellow squares, and black-outlined lines, without the softness of nature's green. Mondrian's work became increasingly abstract over time. His squares became thinner and thinner. Space became a flat world and planes were outlined. We see that here in the painting of 'the factory'.


‘The Factory’


Elly's “STIJL” is different. She connects planes, making them dynamically move in a universe of other block-bodies. She softens the harsh world we live in with pastel tones. She brings perspective and lets her blocks frolic. In contrast to what Mondrian did, Elly multiplies her brush creations. Instead of fewer, more figures keep appearing. Elly's work is meticulous, harmonious, and constructive.


Elly's art; more cubes are appearing.

Elly's art can be easily compared to that of Jean Adams. 100 years ago this month, he was ordained as a priest in the monastery abbey of Rolduc. The connection between Richaerts and Adams is quickly made. Because what she has in mind with Kubutopia, he had with his priesthood and faith; Escaping from the reality around us. In utmost silence, with only paint and brushes, Elly has concentratedly created the 66 canvases that now adorn the long cloister corridors of Rolduc over the past 10 years.

The omitted regularity from the real world, the illusion that there is something else in life, encourages the viewer to interpret in their own way. The work with yellow triangles fading into a contrasting black background is titled; Black Hole, but could just as well be called 'Sunflowers'.

Both Elly and Jean's imaginary works have some cubist visual similarities. Adams worked decoratively, with stylized nature in planes. Elly transcends herself by constantly innovating. It's unimaginable how diverse her works are, how she keeps discovering new patterns.

2023 | all rights reserved  | Ine Feijen 

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