Tanja Smeets - Artist
Tanja Smeets is a visual artist who lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She holds a degree in fine art from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. Her work has been showcased in numerous museums and galleries, including the Henan Museum (Zhengzhou, China), TextielMuseum (Tilburg, Netherlands), Centraal Museum (Utrecht, Netherlands), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, Netherlands), The Gyonggi International Ceramics Biennale, Icheon (South Korea) and the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, USA).
In 2017-2018 she particpates in the CAP program of museum Vizcaya In Miami, and develops a new installation for the museum space. Smeets has participated in a number of residencies in the Netherlands, China and South Korea. She has work in the permanent collections of the Henan Museum (China), the TextielMuseum, Centraal Museum, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum and various commissions which include installations for the KF Hein foundation, DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Enexis, DSM and the AkzoNobel Art Foundation.
In her installations, Tanja Smeets explores organic growth processes in public spaces as well as in museum galleries. Installations that dialogue intimately with the architectural surroundings. She is interested in the tension between the unexpected presence, the autonomous growth and the scale, density and the seemingly fragility of the work in relation to its surroundings. Smeets often uses materials from daily life, humble materials such as soup spoons, clay, sieves, and bath mats.
"I pay attention to colour, structure, shape, but most importantly, the capability of an object to transform and lose its 'identity' when used in large groups and different sizes."
In 'Domestic Strangers', exhibited at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, large organic structures that seemed to be the result of a natural growth process infiltrated the space, suggesting that they have always been there, interwoven with the main characteristics of the architecture.
On the old stone wall of the staircase of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, she combined lasercut felt material, embroidery and grey colored leaf catchers. A soft, grey skin with coloured yarns drips from the stone wall. The density of the work is different on each level, new glimpses of the work seduce the visitor to go deeper and deeper into the tower. The work seems to grow on its own and permeates the stone tower to grow on the outside in a metal version. The tension that arises between this matter-of-fact presence on the one hand and the imminent danger of a growing organism on the other plays an important role in her work.