Jan Commandeur Dutch, 1954-2024


"Just as the elements can determine the lightness or heaviness of a mood, I keep trying to use nature as a metaphor for my attitude to my work.


I look at nature, I "behold". That produces a memory, a memory image. For me, that image in my memory is reality. A memory of a natural image thus becomes the rhythm of a new painting. I try to capture the poetry of a clear moment, a moment that is seen, because it is recognized. Beautiful or not beautiful.


A dark foliage can thus be synonymous with - a metaphor for - something transient, something gloomy. This is always in contrast with something that can reinforce that posture, in this case something light that gives the foliage more character due to the contrast.


The composition is of great importance and only arises after a long look. In this process the unruly nature inherent must be overcome. And oil paint, as a difficult material to work with, is a natural partner for me. Once the image is in place, the painting also has the shine it deserves.


The collages combine the painted reality with parts of photos that show a different reality in a different way. And in that contrast enhance the painted image. "




In 1981, Jan Commandeur (1954-2024) was awarded the Royal Grant for Free Painting, and shortly afterwards the first exhibitions followed in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (1982) and the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (1985). Shortly before, he completed his education at the Ateliers in Haarlem.
His paintings are shown in renowned galleries such as Art & Project and Collection d'Art and after the latter's closure at BorzoGallery.


In all the years since then, the landscape has remained the inexhaustible source of his painting and his oil and gouache the mediums with which he expresses his expressionist vision of that landscape. A few years ago, Jan Commandeur discovered photography as a means of shaping his artistic expression. It started with a vase of faded tulips, the fallen leaves of which formed a 'random' composition on the table. Photographing this still life, the painter saw the possibilities and opportunities of a further study with the help of photography. Not as an aid or preliminary study for a painting, but as an independent image maker in the hands of the artist. In this way, completely abstract compositions are created based on nature, just as Commandeur as a painter always strives for abstraction and achieves it by immersing himself in the landscape.