lunes, 8 de agosto de 2016


Poen de Wijs

Poen de Wijs (Dutch artist) 1948 – 2014
Studie in GOUD - Masai 2 (Study in GOLD - Masaai 2), 2014
metallic acrylics on panel 
20 x 30 cm.
private collection

Sometimes circumstances force an artist to use a different approach. From his sickbed Henri Matisse, for example, is known that he rearranged clippings on the wall into new works with a long stick, different from what he had made previously. And Rembrandt’s eyes grew worse in the course of his life, so he had to paint more coarsely; a fate that also struck Claude Monet.

Also Poen de Wijs had to adapt to his physical limitations. Affected by an incurable cancer that slowly spreads into his bones, he is forced to fight the pain with morphine. One of the side effects of morphine is that the eyes can’t accommodate their normal adjustments well. However, with a good pair of reading glasses it proved possible for him to contemplate working with smaller sizes. For this reason his latest series of works are painted on the size 20 x 30 cm.

But in this series, he also applied a renewal: all panels are made with metallic acrylic paint, especially with gold, but also copper and silver. Previously he had worked parts of paintings with metallic paint, but in this series it is the only type of paint he used. The underpainting is painted over with a thin layer of gold paint, and worked over with a mixture of gold and white, to an almost monochromatic result. The specific application of the paint can hardly be photographed or reproduced. With changing light, the atmosphere changes, sometimes poetic, soft and warm, sharp and cool, and different light dissolves the image in gold, copper or silver.

Poen de Wijs calls all these works ‘Study’. They remain somewhat illusive for the reason of those titles. Is it because the sizes are small and usually have only one portrait as a subject ? Is it because he simply takes/draws from his big models archive and doesn’t works with new models? Or is he asking the viewer to closely examine this particular technique?

A good judgment can only be made by the viewer when he sees these works in reality. To be seen in Gallery De Twee Pauwen , The Hague, from May 17.

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