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Karien Heijtlager


Karien Heijtlager is an sculptress who makes sculptures in clay which she then casts in bronze.

Karien herself makes a distinction in het work, free work and commissioned work, portraits. However, for the person looking at her work this distinction is far from obvious. Her touch, energy and dynamics are equally strong in all her work. Karien demands a lot of herself – the best sculpture does not exist – it can always be better.

Karien Heijtlager’s free work has a clear and all encompassing theme: erotic tension between man and woman. Attraction, dominance, subjection, power and growing together are motives one will see in all her Works.

Expressing a relation at times demands more or less abstraction. Clear figuration might be the way in which Karien wants to express her theme on some works. In other works she creates in a rather more abstract way capturing movement and dynamics. However Karien "reduces” her sculpture to more or less abstract forms – the figuration will always be prevalent.

Most noticeable in Karien’s Works is that the relation between man and woman is portrayed in a direct manner, where man and woman clearly have their own power and identity. Romance is only a part of her work. It is the tension between the partners in a relationship of two strong willed persons which makes her work so overwhelming and present.

In her commissioned Works, Karien has developed a specialty of making portraits. Her search to find the personality of her subject, the right touch, fathoming a model’s personality is a journey full of surprises which she thoroughly enjoys.

Karien Heijtlager (1959) studied autonomous disign at the Art Academy of Utrecht in the 1990s. She continued her studies in 2010-2011 at the Willem de Kooningacademie in Rotterdam. To further her development she worked closely with her mentor Kees Verkade.

Karien works in The Hague and Tuscany, Italy. Her works are shown and are part of collections in The Netherlands, Switzerland, France Italy and the USA.



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