Work in progress, 2016, Oil and acrylics on two canvasses, 30x180 cm and 250x180 cm
Inez de Brauw
Born Den Haag (NL), 1989
The contemporary Western world is focused on speed, spectacle and functionality. This bothers Inez de Brauw. She feels something is missing: a certain depth beyond calculation and efficiency. In her previous paintings she addressed this shortcoming by combining characters and elements from different eras in cold, advertisement-like compositions. Her current work is more complex and layered. She introduces ornament as a symbol for the nowadays underrated non-functional.
De Brauw explores the stylized ornament of art deco, and the intellectual legacy of one of its most fervent opponents, Adolf Loos. In his book Ornament and Crime (1908) the Austrian architect dismissed functionless decoration as a characteristic of lesser developed cultures, and inspired many representatives of functionalism. De Brauw, however, considers ornaments to be potentially mesmerizing and inspiring. To embrace them doesn’t equal nostalgia or a thoughtless frenzy to prettify. It is rather a critique of contemporary short-sightedness and a plea for the non-functional – including, of course, art. (ED)