Sanne Maloe Slecht: Metaphorically Speaking

7 July - 14 August 2021

Frestonian Gallery is delighted to present its first exhibition of paintings by Sanne Maloe Slecht. First studying as a photographer at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, Slecht’s practice very early on became somewhat anarchic & subverting of the medium – introducing deconstructive elements such as overpainting and collage to pull her working method away from the photographic and into a more tactile realm.


By the time she had relocated to London and completed her MA in painting at the Royal College of Art the work had fully emerged into three dimensions, with the lines between sculpture and painting thoroughly blurred. As the distinctions between two and three dimensions receded so too did any sense of unambiguity in the representational vs abstract elements within the work. Obviously identifiable imagery becomes subsumed by the peculiar shifting internal logic of each particular work. In Unfinished Business flames flicker briefly before settling back into the overall pattern of the painting itself; in Soaring Through a beam of light shines through the picture plane before solidifying as a conical form... and then back again, endlessly. It is no surprise that many of the motifs Slecht allows to form in the works are themselves definitively ambiguous – windows, stairs, ladders, gateways – elements that are necessarily liminal; threshold spaces whose existence can be fairly adjuged to depend on their non-space-ness set between two or more other planes or places.


In allowing each work to float so freely in and out of ‘existence’, or between various different existences  simultaneously, Slecht has developed (though allowed to evolve might be a better definition) a highly personal and unusal language in painting. Too chaotically self-generating to be ‘surreal’ or allegorical, and yet too rooted in the physical world of ‘things’ to be truly abstract. This uncanny framework is adorned with Slecht’s instinctive love of colour, creating striking and beautiful works that are further enhanced by her magpie-like eye for texture and patternation. The finishing touch to each painting is its title, which Slecht plucks from her ever-growing collection of snatched moments of conversation, song lyrics, nonsense poems and other disconnected fragments – one last red herring in each painting that is its own self-contained & tantalisingly unknowable world.   




Sanne Maloe Slecht was born in 1987 in Heemskerk, Netherlands, & lives and works between London and Assendelft, NL. She is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Art In The Hague, NL, and the Royal College Of Art, UK – completing her MA there in 2019 (incorporating an exchange semester at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf). Her work has already been featured in many gallery exhibitions, including  &FOAM and W139, Amsterdam; Gallery Bipolar and artist residency Pilotenkueche, Leipzig; Galerie der HFBK, Hamburg; Parallel Art Fair, Vienna; Hockney Gallery, UK and The Herrick Gallery, London. Her first major solo show in the Nethlands, at Galerie Bart in Amsterdam, closely precedes her first solo exhibition at Frestonian Gallery.

Slecht has been awarded several grants / prizes and scholarships, including the Mondriaan Fund in 2021, Stroom Pro Onderzoek Research Grant, Hendrik Muller Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Netherlands and Royal College of Art Continuation Fund and A-N Time Space Money from London. She has lectured in fine art at The Royal Academy of Arts, the Hague; Northampton School of Arts and the Ruskin School, University of Oxford.