Bas Meeuws - Spring in the Winter Time

Tasveer, in association with Dauble, is delighted to present for the first time in India the works of Dutch photographer, Bas Meeuws. This exhibition presents a selection of 43 photographs, bringing together new and previously unseen Indian work produced in conversation with Tasveer, along with a selection of Meeuws’ early floral still lifes inspired by the Dutch Golden Age tradition of ‘flower painting’. To commemorate the exhibition, Tasveer has also released a new photobook featuring reproductions of the photographs in the exhibition and a specially commissioned text by Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird.

Exotic and unusual flowers, including tulips, were introduced to the Netherlands in the late 16th century. They were avidly collected and studied by botanists and scholars, as well as artists, who saw them as a source of inspiration. Centred around secular subjects, new and distinct genres of painting evolved during this period and flowers grew to become an important subject of the developing category of still lifes. Intrigued by the artistic phenomenon of ‘flower paintings’, Meeuws utilises digital photography in a 21st century context, to create contemporary flower pieces in the way of modern Dutch masters like Ambrosius Bosschaert, Jan Brueghel, Jacob Marrel and Jacques de Gheyn: flower by flower, layer by layer.

“The bouquets in the paintings were impossible constructions of flowers from different seasons. I want to pursue this element of the genre. It gives you the opportunity to work outside of time, to make time stand still. The comfort of photography, that’s how I like to see my still lifes,” explains Meeuws. Each flower is individually photographed to build a digital ‘flower library’ from which Meeuws selects a combination of flowers and foliage to create a unique arrangement. He adds: “I try to summon up the feelings in myself that the people looking at the picture then would have had. The awe that they must have felt for all the expensive and exotic flowers together.”

The highlight of this exhibition is Meeuws’s new series of Mughal Botanicals and Mughal Still Lifes, which were created in conversation with Tasveer and especially for this exhibition. A contemporary reflection of a cross-fertilisation between eastern and western artistic traditions: inspired by floral motifs seen in illuminated Mughal manuscripts and monuments, these works employ the same techniques of representation as his Dutch works.

In an essay penned for the accompanying publication, Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird summarises: “Meeuws’ work is one of confluence in which East and West, tradition and modernity, nature and artifice intermingle to create a subtle sense of otherworldliness. By the clever manipulation of these influences his flowers pieces are infused with vitality and spiritual abundance that champion the wonder of nature.”

This exhibition is presented in association with Per Van der Horst Gallery, The Hague.

Exhibition Schedule


06 April - 25 April 2022

+91 80 4053 5212

10am - 5.30pm
(Mon - Sat)