Annelies Middel was born in 1973 and grew up in northern Holland.
She studied painting and photography and experimented with transitional forms between these two fields. Her final project at the Minerva Academy of Arts consisted of a series of photographs. ‘Paintless’ photographs, photographs created and approached as paintings.
Since 1993, the human being has been an important theme in her work. In the beginning, the paintings were dark, heavy, and with a central composition. A figure, naked or in underwear, is looking at the viewer. The holocaust was a theme that was deeply entrenched in this early work.
Over the years the figures, the compositions, and the colours started to form a more dynamic world. She created figures who were 'fillable' in the sense that they can get their personality by the viewer. Her current work is mainly painted in blacks, whites and greys, but in some paintings subtle colours are present too, shunting a primarily black and white composition into a colour dimension.
Found photographs, self made movies and her own pictures are important inspirations for her paintings. In her series ‘Memories’ she examines the essence of a memory. In her view, colour is not a relevant element for a memory; it can flow away, disappear from the memory, or it changes during time. A clear example is her 2006 painting ‘Coloured memory’. A group of children, of which you get the idea they must be grown ups now, who all have a memory of this beach event, but none of them remembers it the same. Annelies painted that day, when they were still united, in the colour of their youth.
Annelies Middel sees light as the essence of an image. Light dominates colour. That philosophy can be found literally in the title of a recent painting: ‘First there was light’.
When Annelies visited New York last year, she was struck by contrasts. Holland versus the States, small versus big, subtle versus bold. The small 2006 works were made with this contrast in mind.
Annelies Middel lives and works in the city of Groningen, The Netherlands, where she also teaches at NoorderAteliers and at the Klassieke Academie of Fine Arts.