Tina Gillen (born in Luxembourg in 1972) lives and works in Brussels and is active as a painter since the late 1990s.
As a painter, she works on the interface between figuration and abstraction, between the second and third dimension. She devises her paintings and their constituent attributes – a figurative universe offset by surfacing forms – with both intensity and precision. In the pictorial compositions that characterize her works, surface and space compete for the viewer’s attention.
From this tension arises a struggle of near abstract forms with narrative imagery. Through the suppression and shifting of descriptive elements, which she depicts from her very close environment, the artist deprives the paintings of any certainty, shattering the notion of the painting as a representational device of the real and coherent world. Memories and desires merge: a feeling of ubiquity seizes the viewer who in turn becomes the legitimizing actor of the painting’s reality.
Graduating with a Master in Fine Arts in Vienna in 1996, she has been working since than as a visual artist. She followed several artist residency programs like: the printing-workshop at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 1999, the two month residency and collaboration project with artist-collective 'Ruangrupa' in Jakarta in 2002 and the ISCP residency program in NYC in 2007.
Since 2008, she is working as a researcher and also teaching in the Bachelor and Master degree of the Painting Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium. Her field of expertise lies in the rich tradition of painting and her research practice. She focuses on the medium of painting as a tool of visual communication and uses its language as a plastic and architectural device to translate our environmental perceptions and impressions of our daily life.
In 2016, she co-initiated a research group 'NO TIME', with students and colleagues from the painting department, who link their artistic and art-critical practice to the consequences of global warming and its effects on nature and society. As a consequence of that research project, a new interdisciplinary project seminar Making Change was created and is closely related to the academy’s ambition to evolve into a Green Academy.
Her latest exhibitions were in 2019 at Nosbaum Reding Gallery in Luxembourg with 'Windways' and in 2016 with ‘Vanishing Point’. She had the occasion to show her work within an institutional context with exhibitions at BOZAR in Brussels, MUDAM in Luxembourg, WIELS in Brussels and at M Museum in Leuven.
There are two important publications: the monographic catalogue ‘Necessary Journey’ from 2009 and the exhibition catalogue, 'Echo' from BOZAR in 2016.