Artists Cecile van Hanja
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The source of inspiration for Cecile Van Hanja’s work is the Modernist period at the beginning of the 20th Century. She is especially interested in the architecture of the Bauhaus and De Stijl schools as a reflection of order in a time of chaos.

Cecile van Hanja’s early childhood was spent in the South of France until at the age of 8 years old, she moved to the Netherlands.  With this move, came a mixture of feelings; losing touch with her natural roots, a sense of alienation and her curiosity with the architecture of her newly adopted country, all of which she channeled into her painting

When working on a project she explores urban spaces through photography and architecture, and transforms those images into paintings, altering colour, light and atmosphere. One of the most striking characteristics of the paintings is their transparent, layered structure. Thin layers of acrylic paint allow the colours underneath to shine through. It is not until the third or fourth layer that oil paint is added. It is precisely because of the thin, transparent painting which leaves underlying layers of colours visible, that it does not become a static image of impenetrable walls. There is a painterly beauty formed by colour balance, rhythm and composition.

“I want to emphasize the immaterial aspect of a building by creating open spaces.  In my paintings the images of modern architecture are based on a rhythmical pattern of verticals and horizontals in which an multi coloured labyrinth of spaces and look-throughs is created.



Cecile van Hanja graduated from the prestigious Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) in 1993.


Cecile van Hanja & Ben Guntenaar, SBK Amsterdam November 2017
Architectural Spaces/ Unexpected Colours, Rob de Vries Gallery, Haarlem April-June 2017
Peripheries, Lisa Norris Gallery, London February-March 2017
EXPO72 Alkmaar, NL 2016
“Beyond Chaos”, Galerie BMB Amsterdam 2015
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 2015
M2 Kunst, 37PK, Haarlem 2014
In Glorious Colour, Showdown Saatchi Art, Griffin Gallery, London 2014
Urban Landscape, Gallery Wegert and Sadocco 2013
Vanishing Point, ABC Architecture Centre, Haarlem 2011
Perspectives, Gallery BMB, Amsterdam 2010
Facades, ABC Architecture Center, Haarlem 2009