Aglaé Bassens was born in Belgium in 1986. She moved to England in 1998 after which she studied her BA at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University. She graduated from her Painting MFA at The Slade School of Art, UCL in 2011. She is now living and working in East London, establishing her practice as an emerging painter. Aglaé Bassens has exhibited widely in places such as The Saatchi Gallery, Charlie Smith Gallery and APT Gallery. She was selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012 and the East London Painting Prize 2013 amongst other events. Recently Bassens was included in the Thames & Hudson publication 100 Painters of Tomorrow and exhibited in Bienniale of Painting : the Painter’s Touch at the Museum of Art of Deinze, Belgium. Future projects include Whispers, a group show at Ronchini Gallery in December 2015.
“I paint as a way of apprehending the world, investigating sight as a language.
Having uprooted regularly throughout my youth, being a foreigner is a second nature tome, and the habit of relying entirely on observation to appraise situations in an unknown language directly feeds into my work. The gaze is indeed the keystone of my practice, often setting up the spectator to be a voyeur into my paintings.
I often use the motif of mirrors and windows as a way to manipulate and complicate the gaze. This allows me to create a space within the painting, and to tease the viewer into suspended narratives.
My paintings all revolve around what it means to be a painter and are usually composed of a visual counterpart such as movement and stillness, presence and absence. These contrasts illustrate my inner oscillation between detachment and attachment to the world around me. This seesaw is of course mirrored by the very process of painting, at once immersive in the act of feeling with the eye and gazing with the hand as the loaded paint brush glides on the canvas – yet also removed once the brush is put down and the painting completed, subjected to the artist’s critical and appraising gaze.
An intense and concentrated involvement with the materiality of paint feeds my need to engage physically with the world when the gaze is no longer sufficient. My paintings speak of the solitude of the human condition, and of the solace of beauty.”