Hans van Hoek Dutch, b. 1947


In his paintings Hans van Hoek (*1947) combines past, present and future in his choice of motifs and dramatic contrasts between light and dark. His works open an undefined continuum of space and time. The willing viewer is afforded space for the own associations and feelings.


His studies of the works of the Old Masters, e.g. El Greco, Rubens, Michelangelo, Courbet and Cézanne, prompted the artist to introduce free adaptations as motifs in his pictorial compositions. An often-recurring element, for example, is Michelangelo's relief "Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs" in Michelangelo Study with Lemons (2003-2005) and Michelangelo Study (2005-2006). The numerous decorative objects he has gathered and which find their way into his paintings, also remind one of the tradition of Dutch still-life painters. Thus it could be various individual pictorial elements that are combined into one composition, but it is also the 'picture in a picture' that engages in a game of imaginative deception with the viewer.


Van Hoek is also able to atmospherically bind his images together through the targeted use of light and darkness, form and colour. Lastly, this is accomplished through their composition that uses the principle of montage to allow for multiple modes of perception. In this regard a very important role is played by the complicated wooden frames prepared by the artist himself that serve as an extension of the pictorial space. "It is important to see the picture frames, painted or carved, as a space of experience and not as a border, line or barrier. ...a space encloses the core and is, on the other hand, surrounded by more and more space ... endlessly". In creating the frames, choosing their ornamentation, the colour, the wood, the artist builds a direct relationship to the content of the picture and generates further optical and also graphic dimensions.