About

Barbara Houwers (1958)

Education
1976-1982. Visual arts teachers Training Academy Utrecht-Amersfoort.
1990-1992. HKU-Utrecht School of the arts.
1992. Start professional practice.

2020. Essay: “Een Gestalte“‘ by Ellen Röling ( we work on the translation).
2018. A biography has been written by Art Historian Diana Kostman.

Barbara Houwers is a Dutch Visual Artist. She lives and works in Blaricum (Amsterdam region). Her collection consists of paintings, sculpture and 3D Designs. Barbara’s works can be found both in private and corporate collections and public buildings around the world. Barbara is for more than 20 years well known for her paintings  of stylised and isolated human figures. Works in which emotions and experiences from life are expressed, evoking a strong sense of recognition with the viewer. Recently Houwers’ technique  widened from traditional painting to a more experimental use of material and towards a new paradigm of sculpting.  She is (re) discovering ceramics as the base material for self-expression in dimension and space.

‘In this new period of shared Isolation, I sense a larger creative space than ever before. It allows me to grow towards new works and forms. It feels like a transformation. Abstraction is again more prominent in my work, repetition finds its place and the oval motive has emerged in my mind as a leading symbol. I feel as if I am reaching deeper layers of the mind. The balance between vulnarability and strength of men still fascinates me most. Coming from a family where Isolation was standard and trauma was hidden, it feels as if though it has provided me with a clear foundation. To finally find a sense of calmness and pure beauty”.

The theme: the Shape.
The “Gestalte” – an abstract human shape – appeared  early in Barbara Houwers’ oeuvre. A theme that would prove to be a deep source of inspiration over the years. Passionate repetition of this theme created a unique visual language in the paintings and works on paper. The Shape  is depicted in strength and vulnerability. In connection, love, loneliness and as a metaphor for life itself. Sub-themes arise in which the human figure enters into an expressive relationship with the space. Space itself becomes a subject in new series and investigative projects.
Houwers then resumes her theme in spatial techniques. In (ceramic) sculpting she finds a logical addition to painting. By ‘zooming out’ on the theme, Houwers enters a new dimension in her recent work. The Shape continues; in abstracted and repetitive structures. Work in which the power of connection ultimately becomes the power of the image.

Public profile:
Exhibitions and archive
Publications and press

Non profit:
2003-2015. Boardmember Dooyewaard Foundation.
2005-2015. President (founding committee) Artist foundation Gooise Kunstkring.
2010-2015. President organisation for Female entrepreneurs: Entre Femmes-Gooi.
1984-2015. Art Advice, selection and exhibition committees.
2015: Appointed as Member in the Order of Orange-Nassau by His Majesty The King of The Netherlands.