Beyond Belief

Deborah Poynton

Beyond Belief


Beyond Belief is Deborah Poynton's first major exhibition in the Netherlands, taking place at the Drents Museum, an institution with a particular focus on contemporary realist painting. Curated by Karlijn de Jong, the exhibition covers just over a decade of work through approximately 50 paintings – including the titular triptych commissioned for the museum's space in a former Abbey Church, a detail of which appears on the cover. In her catalogue essay, De Jong writes perceptively of Poynton's relationship to realism, concluding:

Viewers of Poynton’s work might mistake her virtuosity as being a goal in itself. However, such a shallow reading would make the assumption that her art is reactionary and immature. Poynton’s art goes beyond the banality of realist painting. In her paintings, which seem to contain reality, she reflects on the essence of life. Their realism allows viewers to believe in their illusion. Poynton, however, sees this illusion as a thin veil that can be pulled aside ... With her realism and playful use of light and space, she pulls viewers into her world, lifting them out of their own reality for a moment and thus making them aware of the filter through which they look at the world. Poynton shows that the reality which they have always relied on simply does not exist.

The richly illustrated catalogue features a second essay by Mads Damsbo, texts by the artist on many of the paintings, and a foreword by Drents Museum director Harry Tupan.

Published by Drents Museum/W Books | 2021
Softcover, 114 pages | ISBN 978 94 625 8396 2 | Price: R480

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