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New Accessions Highlight: Thin Air

The back area of the Pleasant T. Rowland Gallery has hosted an ongoing recent acquisitions exhibit since July, 2020, featuring additions to the Chazen collection gathered from 2018 to now—and a few new pieces have joined the exhibit. We’ll highlight the new additions online, and encourage you to come see the works in person during a free appointment.

Our first new work is Thin Air, by Hannah van Bart.

Thin Air painting by Hannah van Bart

Hannah van Bart, (Dutch, b. 1963), Thin Air, 2004, acrylic on linen, 65 1/8 x 43 3/8 x 1 1/8 in., gift of Drs. Joseph Cunningham & Bruce Barnes in honor of Amy Gilman, 2020.19.27

Through portraiture, still life, and landscape, Amsterdam-based artist van Bart explores the relationship between abstraction and figuration as a subjective one. Employing bold contours, fragmentation, pattern, and repetition, van Bart redefines the distinction between a figure and its environment. This method of depiction creates a perceived state of flux between interior and exterior, suggesting a connection between the emotional and physical lives of her subjects. In this work, the artist presents the body of a standing figure of a girl as if it were a cabinet with drawers that open, or as a mechanical doll with component parts that can be disassembled. The repetition of forms creates the illusion of dynamic animation, bringing the girl to life like a marionette.