Isabelle Smeets is an independent thinker and creator with a very personal visual language which found recognition internationally already at the age of 19 when she went to Salzburg to study stage design with Professor Schneider-Siemssen. Her designs for the opera TRIONFI / Carmina Burana were highly praised by Carl Orff, the composer who visited the class in 1980.
In the Netherlands she continued studying visual art at the Art Academy AKI in Enschede, with the famous painter Marlene Dumas, and René Coelho, the founder of MonteVideo, the first Institute for Video Art in Amsterdam.
Through the last 40 years she created her site-specific works, designs and commissions in many locations: in Spain, Austria, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Great Britain, Tokyo, New York, California and Germany.
She received grants from Austria 1981, Dale Djerassi Fellowship 2007, Tijl Fund Grant / The Prins Bernhard Culture Foundation 2009 and the Karen Shea and Gabe Silverman Fellowship at VCCA in 2020. As also numerous supported artist-in-residents: Fundacion Valparaiso, Djerassi, VCCA and VCCA-France a.o.
She created and worked together with the British designer Paul Smith, the Dutch architects Alberts & van Huut and the Belgium artist, biologist and space systems researcher Angelo Vermeulen on multiple projects.
In the artworks of Isabelle Smeets is a fascinating duality of the recognizable and the abstraction she alludes to, at the same time this duality evokes mystery consolidated through the works’ elegance and simple beauty.
Partner: Djerassi Resident Artists Program