Nancy van Overveldt
10 November – 3 December 2005
Mexican mural paintings, magical realism, and shamanic forms combine to dazzling effect in the oil paintings of Dutch painter Nancy van Overveldt.
Born in the Hague, Holland, in 1930, Overveldt studied painting at the Hague Royal Academy of Art, before moving to France, where, against the vibrant backdrop of 1950s Paris, she began experimental studies in colour and form that were to define the course of her career. It was, however, her move to Mexico in 1952 that would truly revolutionise and shape her artistic vision. Inspired by the land’s brilliant light, vibrancy and spirituality, Overveldt’s work has drawn widely from the Mexican traditions of mural painting by Diego Rivera, and Clemente Orozco and was specially influenced by Rufino Tamayo’s work. She combined these formal influences with a deep awareness of Mexican traditions and colorful fiestas. Exploring the relationship between the earthly and spiritual worlds, and the movement of fire, her work became increasingly populated with animal forms such as birds, horses and bulls, and evolved into huge colourful paintings in which forms merge into other forms, usually culminating in the figure of a bird, which seems to fly out of the canvas.
In 1976 Nancy moved back to Holland where she became fascinated with the movement of air and water. This was to manifest in her work in movements and rhythms that emanated from the center of the canvas, spiraling outward in an eternal dance evocative of the elements and colours of the Dutch seasons. Overveldt’s lifelong relationship with Mexico and Holland continues to permeate her work with a vibrant cast of characters and an intense awareness of light, colour and form.
In her first UK solo exhibition, the October Gallery brings together a significant body of works of this unique and well-respected artist.