For this exhibition, the Dutch artist Marenne Welten researched the history of the United States, in particular immigration from Europe since 1800. After a stay in New York, she became fascinated by the city’s history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and her area of interest later expanded to other regions of the US.
The subjects of her paintings are people and interiors, and how people make the land their own. The family portraits of settlers in front of their new self-built houses are the starting point for this series. Their suffering is visible on their faces, as rugged as the landscape itself.
During her research, Welten also came upon photos of tied-up dead criminals photographed for archival purposes. She does not want to look into their eyes, but by painting them she appropriates them and draws them into her world.
Image credits: Marenne Welten Brothers, 2017