Mirjam de Nijs

Living Stone

May 13, 2022 - July 9, 2022

THREE TWO ONE CANAL STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10013

[email protected]
646•693•0279

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Chaise Marble
2021 Marble 30" H x 16" W x 14.5" D
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Fire
1990 Marble 29.5" H x 13.75" W x 12" D
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Reaching
1995 Bluestone 13" H x 7.5" W x 6" D
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Turkish Red
2019 Milas Kirmizi 16. 5" H x 8.25" W x 5.5" D
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Totem
2021 Moselle Lime 21" H x 15.5" W x 9.5" D
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Broken Cord
1990 Marble 12" H x 10.5" W x 9" D
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Treasure
2020 MOSELLE LIMESTONE 10.25" H x 13.5" W x 6" D
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Cycles
1989 Alabaster 15.75" H x 13.75" W x 9.75" D
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Evolving
2020 Diabase 10.25" H x 13.5" W x 6" D
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Natural Balance
2020 Travertine 10.5" H x 8" W x 3" D
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Stable
1990 Bluestone 22.5" H x 14.5" W x 9.5" D
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Pilable
2021 Bluestone 8.25" H x 6" W x 5.5" D
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Bridge
2004 Bluestone 39" H X 39" W x 18" D
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Intimacy
2020 Fruit Serpentine 7" H x 8" W x 4.75" D
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Figure
2000 Diabase 25" H x 19.5" W x 9.75" D
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MDN Full Moon
2020 Travertine 11.75" H x 8.5" W x 6" D
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Free Form
2020 Bluestone 13.5" H x 13.75" W x 12" D
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Flowing Volume
2021 Alabaster 11.75" H x 8.25" W x 6.25" D
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Radiant
2013 Travertine 10.25" H x 8.5" W x 3" D
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Dance
2018 Travertine 10.5" H x 3" W x 3" D
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Implicit
2019 Bluestone 8.25" H x 5.5" W x 4.75" D
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View
2004 Bluestone 14" H x 11" W x 4" D
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Continuum
1990 Marble 17.75”H X 22”W X 11.75”D
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Spinner
2020 Marble 4.75" H x 5.5" W x 8.75" D
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Grow
1990 Marble 13.75" H x 6" W x 5.5" D
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Perspective
2012 Alabaster 14" H x 9" w x 3.5" D
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Flexible
2021 Alabaster with blue spots 8.5" H x 4" W x 4" D
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Space
2020 Milas Kirmizi 7" H x 6" W x 4.5" D
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Guardian
2020 Travertine 8.5" H x 4.75" W x 4.75" D
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Stilled
2020 Onyx 13" H x 4.75" W x 4" D
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Stairway to Heaven
1990 Selenite 6.5" H x 6" W x 5" D
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Connection
2002 Marble 6" H x 5.5"W x 2.25" D
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In Status Nascendi
2019 Blue and White Alabaster on Bluestone Pedstal 10.25" H x 9" w x 2.25" D

WORDS BY
Elizabeth St. George

The sculptor Mirjam de Nijs finds form through "respect" for the stone.

Although there is an expected connection between the stone and the design, her approach is ever-changing. It is steered by the acts of exploration and discovery, making concrete a question, notion of shape, or moment perceived by the senses. She starts with a loose model in clay. Sometimes it is an idea that guides her selection of the stone, while at other times the type, color, hardness, and character of her material leads to the sculpture. The dialogue between de Nijs’ imagination and medium is lively and physical, gentle and intimate. Her chisel generates a connection to her emotional life, her ears find the rhythm and nature of the stone, and her eyes guide her hand in space and movement. This unrestrained process intertwines the artist’s life with her work, leaving her trace on its shapes and surfaces through the literal mark of her tools.

“Sculpting is a language of its own that exists beyond the visible reality and reaches further than our understanding. I love to express what I experience in the world.”

-Mirjam De Nijs

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Cycles,1989, alabaster, 15.75”H X 13.75”w x 9.75”d
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LEFT: Space, 2020, milas kirmizi, 7”h x 6”w x 4.5”d , RIGHT: Turkish red, 2019, milas kirmizi, 16.5”h x 8.25”w x 5.5”d

As an artist, de Nijs is an autodidact. She grew up loving the Dutch language and literature, as well as art history, and pursued these fields in her formal university studies. Later as a young mother, de Nijs took a sculpture class. First working in cultured stone, and then in natural stone, de Nijs embraced sculpture, as for her it was the creative medium that was most free in meaning and expression. From the beginning she worked in abstraction, believing nonfigurative sculptures were an emotional and surprising element to introduce into a cultured, realistic setting.

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Installation view, various stones, VARIABLE DIMENSIONS

“My favourite themes are movement, the impressions of volumes alone in their full existence or combined with other forms, divided by defined or more subtle lines. My distinct handwriting can be found in each sculptured stone.”

–Mirjam De Nijs

Indeed, nature in its purity stimulates de Nijs. She works outdoors in the natural light on a small island called Zeeburgereiland on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Her isolated surroundings cultivate a contemplative location to evolve her practice. De Nijs has produced objects in a variety of scales and more recently has made functional sculptures, including a chair. The pieces range from medium-sized works with the presence of a monument, to larger sculptures that can be placed outdoors, interrogating and suggesting a different perspective of the natural environment. 

As her work shifts, de Nijs’ investigation of stone remains constant. She describes the medium as, “containing an incredible world of immeasurable forces, processes, and myths…that represent mother earth.” Each stone offers a history and familiarity from which new forms emerge again and again.  

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process image of De nijs sculpting “chaise marble”.
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Chaise marble, 2021, marble, 30”H X 16”w x 14.5”D

ARTIST STATEMENT

Nature in it’s purity, that’s what fascinates me. I love the volume, the movement, the texture and the natural quality of stone.

In stone of all different kinds, I find unlimited possibilities to express my meaning. I prefer abstract language. My ultimate goal is a sculpture. It has an immense expression with a great sense of freedom.

With their strong and subtle presence, abstract sculptures are a surprising element in a realistic environment; a sublimized accent in a concrete world of tables, chairs, vases and living creatures.

For more than 30 years I have made sculptures of natural stone. I have studied Dutch language and literature, combined with art history and aesthetics. I love the freedom of investigation; the sculptures are the result of characterful research and endless experimentation. When I realize that the sculpture fits in a big trail of authentic forms, loose of history, culture and background, I am satisfied. Happy and free for my next endeavour.