Elisabeth Philips-Slavkoff

Biography

Early Life in Vienna , New York and Montreal
Elisabeth Philips-Slavkoff was born 1950 in Vienna, Austria and spent her first professional years in North America. The encounter with Modern Art, American Indian Art and China marks her deeply. While in Montreal she starts to study Mandarin.

 

The China experience
In the 80ies she works in Beijing and discovers Chinese Calligraphy and traditional painting but also the post Cultural Revolution Scar Art, both in painting and literature. She develops a keen interest in Eastern philosophy, having been since then most attracted by concepts of Daoism and Buddhism.
In 2005 she returns to China to finish her Master of Art dissertation on Modern and Contemporary
Chinese Art, a research interest she has maintained ever since.

 

Brussels and Oostduinkerke
Elisabeth learns about the Belgian Surrealists and, sharing her passion for Modern Art with her husband she travels to all the major exhibitions on the continent and in the UK. At their home in Oostduinkerke, Elisabeth learns to know and to love the sea in its ever changing interaction with beach, dunes and the sky. The sea has since become one of the major topics of her paintings.

 

 

Apartment Art - the First Exhibition
After 4 years of intensive art training in Belgium, Germany and England Elisabeth holds her first exhibition in her Brussels apartment in 2004: ‘Squaring the Circle’ encompasses her personal experience and shows a surprisingly diverse range of themes, techniques and materials. The entire proceeds go to a children’s hospital in Czernowicz. Every year she donates a painting to ‘Asyl in Not’.

 

 

Philosophicals underpinnings: London - Vienna
At the London Courtauld Institute of Art Elisabeth obtains a Master of Arts with distinction in the History of Art. She also gets deeply involved in the philosophy of Critical Theory, in particular Adorno and Habermas. Upon her return to Vienna she ‘rediscovers’ her native city as a hub of Modernity at the turn of the 20th century: she reads extensively Freud and Wittgenstein, deepens her knowledge of Schönberg’s music and absorbs the works of Hoffman, Loos and Wagner. Klimt and Schiele become icons of her painting. She travels to India, China and the Canaries.

 

Solo Gallery Exhibitions in Austria and Belgium 2008 and 2011
Elisabeth holds her first exhibition in Austria in 2008 at the Gallery ‘Kunst im Raum’ in Mödling at the outskirts of Vienna. It shows a diversity of subjects ranging from the Austrian landscape, over impressions from China to portraits and abstract paintings. She uses a variety of media, in function of the subject such as digital photography, pastel drawings, acryl painting and oils.

Her second exhibition in Vienna, at Gallerie Rienössl in 2010 was focused on ‘Landscapes and Seascapes’. Her landscapes are elaborately structured oil paintings, based on watercolor sketches made on the spot on the Canaries and then transformed into oil paintings in the studio. The seascapes originate directly on canvas out of using the fresh impression from contemplating the sea.

Her third exhibition took place in Brussels, at the Liaison Office of Lower Austria in 2011. It was a major success with more than 190 people attending the Preview and about half of the paintings exhibited sold on the spot. Nevertheless, Elisabeth believed that after 10 years of painting it was time to reorient her art and search for new roads.

 

Deepening the bond with Chinese art: China Academy of Art in Hangzhou 2012
After having passed her Chinese language examination in 2011 and on the basis of her portfolio, Elisabeth was admitted to the prestigious China Academy of Art in Hangzhou to study one semester of Chinese Traditional Painting. The studio based courses, all taught in Mandarin, comprised flower painting, landscape painting and rendering of people. Elisabeth specialised in Gongbi painting, the very meticulous painting technique of professional painters at the imperial courts.

 

Fusing Western Art and Eastern Art , translating Daoism into painting
Back in Austria she shows her new work in two exhibitions in 2013 in which she explores the possibilities of fusing Western Modernist art with Chinese traditional painting. Since then she has also been working on an epic project to explore and understand the text of Laozi’s Dao De Jing and translate Chinese philosophy into a pictorial language of nature and landscape which speaks to the viewer in a fundamental and intuitive way. She has recently been awarded a prestigious international artist in residence programme in New York with her theme The Dao of Nature.

Elisabeth’s paintings hang in private collections in Austria, Belgium, England , France, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, China, Japan and USA.