Kirsten Høst is a surprising Dutch artist. Two aspects of her paintings jump out, like open arms beckoning us in a warm embrace: serenity and naïveté, which are both conveyed through the purity of colour and form. The sensitive handling of warm, glowing colours evoke an almost fairy tale atmosphere that is further enhanced by the mellow chiaroscuro typical of the Classical style.
Another striking element is the geometry around which her creative drive develops and grows. The origin is always a geometric form from which the subject or the painting then begins to take shape. Graphic elements of line, colour planes and spaces are set in motion by an enrapturing energy that evolves from Kirsten’s mind. The geometric elements, painted in basic colours, then become the figurative elements that enrich the emotional outcome of her artwork.
The subjects of Kirsten’s canvases are also very intriguing. At first glance they seem to come straight out of an anthology by her compatriot Hans Christian Andersen. Stories of simple characters like the fisherman, the country woman, the bastaix, depicted in their silent almost immobile composure. But to a more in depth view the lives of these characters unravel before us and we can clearly see and empathise with their suffering and hardships.
Everything begins and revolves around geometry: the balance of the universe, the symmetry of elements, the meaning of life even, in its mathematical representation of perfection. All this is what Kirsten Høst delivers to our senses stimulating emotions that leave a deep impression and in her own marvellous way, let’s us continue dreaming the fable.
As Henry Matisse said: “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue”, and Kirsten Høst’s work is the good armchair in which even a master such as Matisse would have relaxed, to dream.
International Confederation of Art Critics