Katinka Lampe: Let’s Change History

Sep 7, 2018 | Press Releases

September 5 – October 18, 2018

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 5 from 7-9 pm


“Identity is a construction…if you erase history, you deprive yourself of the possibility to exercise some influence on the future.”  Herman Pleij

Inspired by the diversity in her hometown of Rotterdam, Dutch painter Katinka Lampe explores questions of identity and origin in this new series of portraits. Rendered as a series of layered colors, Lampe’s paintings take on questions of appropriation, shared history and lived experience, while staying true to her ethereal style of portraiture. After considering the writings of academic Herman Pleij, Lampe became interested in how shared history is decisive in the creation of identity. Lush in tonality, Lampe’s paintings evoke the luminous quality of her 17th century Dutch predecessors, albeit with thoroughly modern subject matter. Her figures are set against stark backgrounds of color, which Lampe paints before rendering the portrait itself. In works like “6080175” and “5065185” her models seem to emerge from pigment, a reflection of the weight such things carry in the history of the world.

While history is one part of Lampe’s consideration, the struggle of youth is just as important to the work. Her subjects are all young adults, just beginning to explore larger questions of identity within themselves. They range from Lampe’s niece and daughter, to actresses and models of varying racial backgrounds. There is a great deal of tenderness in her renditions of each figure, and by extension each story. It is important to the artist that the models maintain their anonymity. Rather than portraying their own unique personalities, through the artist’s gaze they adapt a role used as a catalyst for viewers to reflect on their own lived experience and stories. Through this the artist aims to create what she calls, “reflective images”. Says Lampe of the series, “my models play their roles to reflect their own lived experience…My goal is to make connections. I want to question, unsettle, move, and comfort.”

Katinka Lampe is an artist based out of The Netherlands.  She received her degree from the Academy of Art and Design in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Her work has been widely exhibited internationally in a variety of galleries, museums, and prominent art fairs such as Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Gorcums Museum, Gorinchem, the Netherlands, and Untitlled Art Fair, Miami Beach. Her work is included in the collections of Museum 21C, United States; Museum Arnhem, Arnhem;  ASR Collections, Utrecht; ING Collection, Amsterdam; APMA, AmorePacific Museum of Art Seoul, Korea; Salon Dahlmann, Berlin; Museum van Loon, Amsterdam; C.N.A.P Centre National des Arts Plastique, Paris; Museum More, Gorssel; Schunck*, Heerlen; De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam; Art Curial, Paris; Frisseras Museum Athens, Greece; Menzis Artcollection, Wageningen; AEGON Art collection, The Hague; Achmea Art collection,  Leiden; APG Pensioenfonds, Amsterdam; AKZO Art Foundation, Amsterdam; De Heus, Barneveld;  Van Dam, Wassenaar;  Bouwfonds, Hoevelaken; Hugo Carla Brown Collection, The Hague; Sanders, Aerdenhout;  Princen, Rotterdam; and Heden, The Hague. Lampe’s work has been featured in numerous publications including ArtTravel Magazine, ELLE Décor, and Public Art Magazine, among others.


For further inquiries regarding this exhibition, please email info@elizabethhoustongallery.com or call 646.247.1657.