Louise te Poele

Acid Flowers

27.01.2018 – 03.03.2018

Acid Flowers, the second solo-exhibition of Dutch photographer Louise te Poele for
TORCH gallery in Amsterdam, will open on Saturday the 27th of January between 5-7pm.
With this exhibition, Louise will introduce a new body of work by means of a spectacular
gallery-filling installation. Where her previous work was made in the spirit of the 17th
century Dutch masters of the still life, these new pieces are futuristic flower
arrangements bathing in bright neon lights. She orchestrates wondrous compositions of
found objects that playfully disrupt suggestions of movement, scale and vanitas. After
the opening the exhibition will be on view until Saturday the third of March.
A defining factor in the artistic practice of Louise te Poele is the idea of anachronism. She
believes that many ideas and systems exist alongside, or even in stark contrast with the
visual language of an often oppressive zeitgeist. Her subject matter isn't fashionable or
bound to trends. Subjects range from Dutch farmers to flower arrangements and abstract
compositions constructed from packing materials. In other words, she stays close to her
daily surroundings. Within these well-known materials she searches for an unexpected
beauty of invention. Her personal investment in the subjects gives her the intimate
knowledge and trust that is necessary to achieve free and intuitive creation. The flowers
in her most recent works glow with a bright, almost venomous light. They take control of
the composition with an extraterrestrial vainglory. Withered leaves and snapped stems
are part of a festive play of lines and no longer function as overbearing references to
vanitas or decay. If these works can be recognized as metaphors for a life cycle at all,
then they celebrate both growth and decay in equal measure.
The front space of the gallery is reserved for older pieces from her Farmer series. In this
body of work Louise has portrayed farmers of the Achterhoek region in the Netherlands.
They certainly aren't flattering portraits. Rather, they give a more honest account of the
rough skin and no-nonsense attitude that come with this path in life. Fragments of these
raw textures and glaring lights are repeated in her later still lives, where they can be
found in the surfaces of displayed objects. The bright red cheeks of a farmer find their
visual counterpart in displays of lamb chops and the scales of a red snapper. Here, louise
plays with both the appeal and the moral discomfort of displaying a slab of raw, red
meat. By emphasizing textures and contrasting them with 'unnatural' materials such as
cellophane or fabrics, she has found a way to capture her subjects in a surprising new
This development is continued into her most recent works. Walking on a pink carpet
through a vibrant floral arc, visitors to the gallery are offered a first glimpse of these new
pieces. The neon lit flowers seem to glow like corals at night. Where a nearly absolute
painterly realism was desirable - and even a display of wealth - in 17th century Europe,
the still lives by Louise are not realistic. They do not display any real valuables and they
are not in fact, still. While entering a hallucination one sees a dental cast rest besides a
partly peeled lemon while a red fish hovers above a jar of frankfurters. The meticulous
lighting combined with Louise's keen sense for colour make for a truly alienating
Louise te Poele (1984) lives and works in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Here, she graduated
from Artez academy in 2008. Her works has been exhibited worldwide ever since in
places like Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin and Istanbul. Her work is part of the
collections of the Dutch Embassy in Japan, the French state and Museum Arnhem. Her
work is represented by TORCH gallery in Amsterdam.