Maaike Schoorel was born in 1973 in Sandpoort, the Netherlands, and currently lives and works in New York. Her canvases are near-invisible planes that invite sustained contemplation. From their soft, barely perceptible tones, images gradually appear, eventually resolving as quite detailed scenes. Working with such source material as live models and photographs of friends, family, lovers, and herself, Schoorel commences her works with a figurative framework in mind. This is then broken down into subtle, individual strokes and gestures that are layered and built up upon entirely white, off-white, or black backgrounds. Schoorel’s painterly apparitions are a result of the power of suggestion, and her delicate gestures and subtly shifting hues provide only the scantest impressions, provoking the viewer’s subconscious to cogitate on the visual cues. She sees her work as a way to explore the hierarchy of perception, and the complex reworking or withholding of her source material intensifies the process of looking, reminding us that seeing is also about what cannot be seen.
Schoorel has exhibited extensively, including solo exhibitions at Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam (2014), Mendes Wood, São Paulo (2013), the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, the Netherlands (2012), and the Museum De Hallen, Haarlem, the Netherlands (2008), and group exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014), Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, the Netherlands (2014), Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria (2014), David Zwirner, London (2013), the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia (2011), the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2011), Dordrechts Museum, the Netherlands (2011), Hayward Gallery, London (2010), Summerfield Gallery, University of Gloucestershire, England (2009), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2008 and 2006), and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (2006), among others.