Raquel van Haver: Hard Truths

19 May - 2 June 2017

Private view: Thursday 18 May 2017, 6 - 8 pm


Jack Bell Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by contemporary artist Raquel van Haver. In her third show with the gallery, the artist presents two new mural scale paintings along with a smaller still life. She works on burlap, often combining oil paint, charcoal, resin, hair, paper, tar and ash in heavily textured compositions.


Van Haver is interested in race and identity, drawing from African, Western, Caribbean and Latin American cultures within her community in the South-East of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her painting is raw and masculine, at times monumental and energetic, at others dark and ominous. This new series continues to deal with social hierarchies and negotiations between ‘self’ and ‘other’. Van Haver’s brutal visual language confronts contemporary society and the difficult relationships between authority and marginalised neighbourhoods.


The artist skilfully fuses great traditions of painting and current practices of graffiti in her local surroundings. She begins by collecting imagery, either found or from her own photography and sketches. These are then deconstructed and fragmented through collage to create new narratives. Surface and subject are finally sculpted into relief using thick layers of paint. The stories they tell are recognisable to the viewer, but left open and inviting interpretation.


Van Haver was born in 1989 in Bogota, Columbia. She lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her work is currently included in ‘Latin American Cartographies’, a group exhibition at BOZAR, Brussels. Van Haver graduated from HKU, Fine Arts, Utrecht, in 2012. She has recently been nominated for the prestigious Dutch Royal Prize for Painting.