In 2015 Lahuis was awarded the Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst (the Dutch Royal Award for Contemporary Painting). He was awarded this prize for a number of works that showed different kinds of ‘stand-in’ imagery from picture frames, glooming behind a thick layer of beeswax on paper. The depictions were conceptually related to the idea of representation; an image of a parrot that functioned as a colour test, an image showing the metric size of a passe-partout, generalised skylines or famous people from another era, etc. But above all the images were subtly shimmering out there in the distance, from behind the wax.
For his most recent series Lahuis incorporated a technique normally used to stabilise pages from burned books. This is a method that intends to slow down the transient nature of the damaged material, whereas Lahuis’ work is normally all about the very temporary nature of materials.
The volatile and temporary character of the work make it seem like it wants to constantly escape our reality. Even though the wax is hard and solid and even though the burned images are stabilised, it still feels like the work constantly wants to evade time, as if all it wants to do is amalgamate back into nothing as soon as possible. One might even argue it wants to remove itself from the artist.
Eelco van der Lingen A fleeting everlasting monument for a moment that has yet to become history-defining