Biography

Renie Spoelstra’s arduous process of drawing always begins with a journey. For close to a decade, she has travelled to coasts, lakes and beaches throughout North America and Europe. Recently she visited the volcanic islands of La Palma and Iceland, looking for landscapes that evoke overwhelming existential feelings. Once she has found these locations, she films the scenes, and by using the stills from the footage, she is able to move on to the next phase of conveying a personal representation of a geographic location. Her work is never about the locations she depicts – no matter how beautiful they are. They are always about triggering emotions and associations that sharpen our senses.

Spoelstra uses film footage as a starting point for her charcoal drawings. The suede like and velvety texture is achieved by the many layers of charcoal, which are skillfully positioned on top of each other to re-create an almost cinematographic scene. The balance between darkness and soft beams of light is rendered through the many shades of black and grey, creating a notion that something may be lurking below the surface.

Spoelstra looks for an atmosphere, and it is this atmosphere that she tries to re-create in her drawings. The dark hues, empty landscapes and sheer size of the works evoke an existential, melancholic sentiment, and allows for the viewer to lose oneself in each piece. Although these works are reproductions of real places, and are not imagined sceneries, the soulful nature of the drawings, and dark depths, reveal a personal interpretation of the artist’s emotion.

Themes of intensity, secrecy and mystery are reoccurring in Spoelstra’s works. There is an alluring and mythical feel of a place. The series ‘Stretching Universe’ refers to the scientific fact that our universe is expanding, while here on earth it feels as though it is shrinking with the rise of xenophobia, narrow-mindedness and the continuous threats of climate change. Fleeing, or escaping to nature is not as easy as it may seem.

Renie Spoelstra studied at St. Joost, Breda and at the Academie Minerva, Groningen. She has exhibited in the Netherlands and abroad, notably at institutions like the Albertina, Vienna; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. Her work is included in renowned collections such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; MACBA Barcelona; Stedelijk Museum Schiedam; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Amstelveen; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; the Guerlain Fondation, Paris, and many other (private) collections.

CV

Education

  • 2000 MFA Post-St. Joost, Breda, NL
  • 1997 Academy of Fine Arts Minerva, Groningen, NL
  • 1995 Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, NL

Awards & Nominations

  • 2014 Stipendium for Established Artists, Mondriaan Fund the Netherlands
  • 2013 Dolf Henkes Award, Dutch art prize, 3 nominees, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2009 Stipend for travelling, New England USA, fall 2009, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (‘Fonds BKVB Amsterdam’) Amsterdam
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  • 2009 Publication stipend, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (‘Fonds BKVB Amsterdam’)
  • 2008 ‘Artist of the Year 2008’ nomination national Dutch contest (3rd position) and winner of ‘Talent of the Year 2008’ organised by ‘Kunstweek’
  • 2006 Artist-In-Residence project in Kolderveen, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (‘Fonds BKVB Amsterdam’)
  • 2005 Basic Stipend, The Netherlands
    Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (‘Fonds BKVB Amsterdam’)
  • 2003 Starter Stipend, The Netherlands
    Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (‘Fonds BKVB Amsterdam’)

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2020 Nordic Noir, solo show, Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
  • 2019 Renie Spoelstra, solo show De Gasunie Groningen, NL
  • 2018 installing the purchase of Rijkscollectie, Belastingdienst, office building“De Knoop” Utrecht, NL
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  • 2017 Art Brussels, RON MANDOS Gallery, Brussel, BE
  • 2017 Grand View/Narrow Mind, solo show RON MANDOS Gallery Amsterdam, NL
  • 2016 Art Brussels, RON MANDOS Gallery Amsterdam, Brussel, BE
  • 2016 Amsterdam Art Fair, RON MANDOS Gallery Amsterdam, NL
  • 2016 Ode Aan De Rotterdammer, Museum Rotterdam, by Ernest van der Kwast, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2015 Frac Picardie Amiens, Impromptu I, group show, Amiens, FR
  • 2015 The Armory Show, RON MANDOS Gallery Amsterdam, New York, VS
  • 2015 The Amsterdam Art Fair, RON MANDOS Gallery Amsterdam, NL
  • 2015 Book Launch Underneath, book launch of Underbeath, Armory Show, New York, VS
  • 2015 Nieuwe Gezichten op Dordrecht, group showDordts Musem, Dordrecht, NL
  • 2014 Annual Benefit Contemporary Art, Witte de With, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2014 Generosity of Eye, documentary, Louis Dreyfus Collection, USA
  • 2014 Underneath, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
  • 2013 Het dod punt van de schommel, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, NL
  • 2012 Art Rotterdam, Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2012 Met andere ogen”/ “Tekeningen uit de collectie Sanders” Teylers Museum Haarlem, NL
  • 2011 Nabeelden, Drawing Centre Diepenheim, NL
  • 2011 Art Toronto, presented by Nicholas Metivier, (Ca)
  • 2011 Volta 7 Art Basel, Galerie Ron Mandos, Basel, (S)
  • 2011 I Promise to Love You, Caldic Collectie, Kunsthal Rotterdam, NL
  • 2011 The Armory Show, Galerie Ron Mandos, New York, NY USA
  • 2011 Renie Spoelstra, Nicholas Metivier Gallery Toronto, Canada
  • 2010 Pop-up, London, UK
  • 2009 Black Lung, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
  • 2009 Renie Spoelstra, Fred London Gallery, London, UK
  • 2007 Captured in gray, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
  • 2006 Renie Spoelstra, Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Kolderveen, NL
  • 2006 Recreatiegebieden, Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2004 She who draws, initiative HEDAH, Maastricht, NL

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019 A Passion for Drawing, The Guerlain Collection from the Centre Pompidou, Albertina Vienna, AT
  • 2019 PHK18, According to the Line, group show, artists initiative Rotterdam, NL
  • 2019 According to the Line, group show PHK18 Rotterdam, NL
  • 2019 The Gulf Between – over zwart, wit en alles daartussen, group show De Warande, Turnhout, BE
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  • 2018 The Line Up, group show Centraal Musum Utrecht, NL
  • 2018 100 jaar Friese Schilderkunst, group show Museum Belvedere Heerenveen, NL
  • 2018 Renie Spoelstra/Thijs Linssen”, duo show 38CC Delft, NL
  • 2018 A Balancing Act, group show KaDe Amersfoort, NL
  • 2017 Fear in a Handful of Dust, group show curated by Stefan Serneels, Marion de Canniere Antwerpen, BE
  • 2016 Black- from charcoal to high-res, group show Museum Kranenburgh Bergen, NL
  • 2015 Nieuwe Gezichten op Dordrecht, Dordtse Vedute, Dordrechts Museum, NL
    Amsterdam Art Fair, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
    Armory Show New York, USA
  • 2014 Impromptu I, Frac Picardie Amiens, FR
    Art Brussels, Galerie Ron Mandos, Brussels, BE
  • 2013 The Armory Show, Galerie Ron Mandos, New York, NY
    Avro Kunstuur
    Dark Matters, Tent, Rotterdam, NL
    Donation Florence and Daniel Guerlain, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR
  • 2012 Uit de Schaduw, LUMC, Leiden, NL
    Art Rotterdam, Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam, NL
    Renie Spoelstra en Raquel Maulwurf, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, NL
    Frames per Second, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, Canada
  • 2011 The Draughtsman’s Contract, Cypress Gallery, Leuven (B)
    Pearls of the North, Palais de l’Iena, Paris (FR)
    All About Drawing. 100 Nederlandse Kunstenaars, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (NL)
  • 2010 You Are Here, NL
    Palinsesti 2010/Storyboard, San Vito Al Tagliamento, Italy
    Schone Schijn, art event (Dutch dunes of) Heemskerk, NL
    Collectie presentatie Kunst na 1945, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL
    Liefde in de kunst, Museum Le Secet, NL
    Op papier gezet, Van Daniels tot Dumas van Schleiffert tot Schoonhoven, Centraal Museum Utrecht, NL
    Beroerd Landschap, Museum Belvedere, Heerenveen, NL
    The Armory Show, Galerie Ron Mandos, New York, NY, USA
  • 2009 In dit Uitzicht, Drawing Centre Diepenheim, NL
    Art Brussels, Galerie Ron Mandos, Brussels, BE
    ARCO Madrid, Galerie Ron Mandos, Madrid, SP
  • 2008 ARCO Madrid, Galerie Ron Mandos, Madrid, SP
    Art Forum Berlin, Galerie Ron Mandos, Berlin, DE
    Nieuwe Collectie,  Museum Wuyts-Van Campen, Lier, BE
    Verloren paradijs, monumentaal tekenen, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL
  • 2007 Satellite Staion, project space Post CS, Amsterdam, NL
    Art Brussels, Galerie Ron Mandos, Brussels, BE
    Art Forum Berlin, Galerie Ron Mandos, Berlin, DE
    Art Rotterdam, Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam, NL
    Soakers, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL
    Art Brussels, Galerie Ron Mandos, Brussels, BE
  • 2006 Art Brussels, Galerie Ron Mandos, Brussels, BE
    Orde en Chaos Artstore, project space Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL
    In het putje van Den Haag I: Champagnetherapie, Project Space Atelier als Supermedium, The Hague, NL
  • 2005 Kunstrai, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
    Bronnen, Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen, NL
    All Drawings, Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2004 Nieuwe Aanwinsten, collectie CBK, Rotterdam, NL

Collections

Collection Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR
COBRA Museum Amstelveen, NL
Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL
Centraal Museum Utrecht, NL

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Jo Coenen Architecten, NL
LUMC, Leiden, NL
Paul van Beek Landschapsarchitecten Amsterdam, NL
Caldic Collectie, NL
CBK/Artotheek The Hague and Rotterdam, NL
Axel Vervoordt, Belgium
Bouwfonds, NL
Private Collections: The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, USA, Spain