Recent paintings

by Ab van Hanegem

vom 14.5. bis 22.5.2022

Van Hanegem about himself:

I’ve always been fascinated by the illusion of space on a flat surface.

In my first work I researched the mathematical perspective as it was developed in the Early Renaissance.The central perspective starts from a static point of view; this may look credible but does not reflect how we actually look – with a wandering eye scanning the visible world.

To simulate this scanning I stretched the canvas on a curved and elongated stretcher and I combined two landscapes by Lorenzetti in one representation. In a subsequent series of works I employed other spatial structures, including the isometric and grids of diagonal and sometimes wavy screens. These structures formed the basis for architectural representations and an Escher-like play with depth, in which ‘above’ and ‘below’ are shuffled. I also examined the painterly means themselves on their spaciousness, and for instance wondered how one could paint the back of the brushstroke. In my more recent work, the spaciousness is no longer clearly orientated towards the perspective. The dimensions in my work are difficult to identify precisely. I focus on spaciousness inspired by phenomena from the topology, a branch of mathematics. For example the Klein Bottle and Möbius strip. Both refer to an endless, closed surface. A plane with seemingly two sides (front and back), but still one and the same surface causing front and back, top and bottom to overlap inseparably. Sometimes executed in a sleek and architectural way, at other times expressive by nature.The most recent works are mainly expressionist, material plays a greater role in the creation, yet it is often constructed as architecture.

For me these ‘impossible’ structures represent special areas, ‘thinking spaces’ you might say. Areas where you can wander infinitely, not only with your eyes but also also mentally.

These are areas in which you are absorbed as a viewer: undefined, virtual spaces where you weightlessly float and bob around like in a bathtub filled with foam, undergoing a sense of bliss.