2015 An architects colour | Zonnestraal Hilversum
The colour intensity of pigments is pure magic. The enchanting ultramarine. The deep emerald green. The sparkling crimson. Artist Barbara Houwers looks closely into the secret of colour by means of experiments with paint, pigments, binding agents and palette knife in an endless repetition of square touches. This results in a monochrome picture that only on closer inspection reveals the wealth of subtle mutual differences and again and again is the starting point for a new canvas. A structure of paint, wood and linen. Flat or in 3D as a block cloth.
Duiker blue. The first story in the pigments’ project. A tribute to Duiker, the architect who designed Zonnestraal. To his inspiring, transparent, spatial architecture with the white, the black, the ochre and that very characteristic light blue. In her temporary studio in the Dresselhuys pavilion, the Artist in Residence Barbara Houwers explores the history of that typical Duiker blue and the pigments used. An exploration on canvases with sharp edges, in line with the steel profiles and austere lines of the estate. What pigments in the sky blue ensure that the white buildings seem to fade away in the sky?
Basic painting. The pigment story is part of Houwers’s desire to gain full comprehension of the fundaments of painting. A research that was already in the making 15 years ago. Human figures in her work became schematic images. Schemes became abstractions, until the image was finally abandoned entirely. Since 2013 not the form itself, but the process of painting and the materials are subject to research. Houwers makes structure/colour compositions with small repetitive shapes using the magic of touch, paint and colour.
Pigment projects. Home paint making based on pigments is an art that only few artists still master. A craft that is likely to be lost. Within the pigment project Barbara Houwers gives some workshops on colour synthesis and paint making to share her extensive know how. In 1992 Barbara Houwers started her career after her studies at the Utrecht School of the Arts. All through the years she developed a very personal style. Many people can recognize the work of Houwers by the layered use of colour, the themes and the vital painting style. Barbara’s work is regularly exposed on exhibitions and is included in private and corporate collections both in the Netherlands and abroad. She lives and works in Blaricum (Amsterdam area).
Pigment stories can be seen until the end of September as part of the Artist in Residence project of the Gooise Kunstkring | Zonnestraal Hilversum. www.zonnestraal.org.
Text by Ellen Röling. Translation: Ransdorp translations.