The project presented by Maria Smits is called ‘Presence-Absence’. What started as a project to honour the underestimated female artist Elsa Freytag-Loringhofen developed into a work dedicated to all female artists, known and unknown. The work consists of multiple canvases, 24 x 30 cm each; a wall filling installation. Some with an image (oil on canvas), some empty. As a tribute to the female artists who mean a lot to Smits personally, she visualized her interpretation of their artworks in diptychs. The first canvas features an image of their artwork, on the second its absence is depicted. This refers to the philosophical conviction that the absence of the tangible object can be more manifest than the presence of the image of the object. The paintings will be hung between a series of white canvases, drawing attention to the many unknown artworks of talented female artists.
The work of Maria Smits makes reference to current social issues whilst always maintaining its visual value. Although her work is inspired by sometimes controversial subjects, she never claims to have the answers, but highlights and clarifies the themes. Smits masters a great variety of visual techniques which enable her to communicate in an optimal, clear way without losing her distinctive style.