Ronald Zuurmond Dutch, b. 1964


The search for the image is the handwriting of Ronald Zuurmond (*1964). The things he paints are already there. He only needs to see them, regardless, from the corners of the eyes. They are a kind of reason, a beginning. The rest is hard work and consideration. You could compare that way of painting with the work of the poet. The first line of a poem is a gift, the rest is toil. Trial and error. The comparison with the poet also applies in another sense. Just as the poet chooses a shape, so Zuurmond chooses the painting. Such a choice is a limitation within which the possibilities unfold. You experience freedom in limitation, that is the paradox of form. What the sonnet is for the poet is the painting for him. Ronald Zuurmond is a painter who always has to find out how to do it. Each canvas is a stepping stone to the next, in a certain sense the paintings interlock. "If you bump into a wall, you have to do it again. Only then will you know for sure. And the moment you think you know for sure, it is over again."


A word that pops up in a conversation with Ronald Zuurmond is space. He creates that space in a technical sense by painting layer on layer, often over previously failed paintings, and scraping the paint here and there. As if he pulls out a curtain. This happens at a certain speed that is important to maintain the necessary distance to the canvas. The space in the painting extends from front to back for him, much more than left to right. The things he paints must move in that space, both in the flat surface and in depth. "At the same time you have to have a look through and feel a resistance that the eye bumps into. For me, the space is both physical and psychological. As a viewer you must be able to move through that space, you must be able to move with it. You must be able to step into the space of the painting step by step. I am never concerned with a perspective space, I do not want the painting to suggest anything other than it is physical."