Dit Eiland

Zomerstudio Kees de Goede

When a French collectors couple visited the Paris vernisage at Studio Franck Bordas they where smithered by the huge free hanging silkscreen 149-27-15. The vague and somewhat spooky revision of Géricault's - La Balsa de la Medusa brought them on the verge of buying the work at first sight. However when the gallery owner pointed at the equally large print next to it and told them that this formed the flipside, their enthusiasm cooled. Apparently they could not appreciate how Kees de Goede had combined this vibrant color feast with the dramatic Raft of the Medusa, grand icon of French romanticism. They had to think things over. This anecdote marks an essential quality in the Pulse series, the merger of different seemingly opposite realms.

ArtZuid curator and former director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Rudi Fuchs describes something equally important in regard to the Pulse painting he bought for the collection. In an essay for De Groene, Fuchs mentioned how Kees had tightly pulled the prepared canvas over a constellation of tree branches. He writes: "the strange effects of irregularity became visible, as tension from the inside, in the erratic unevenness of the surface - that became a skin  full of lumps and bumps. When painting on it, it was actually obvious that the dyeing would start to move with those bends in the surface. The bumps indicated the places where the colors came". That is well said and indeed spot on.

Tension from the inside, irregularity, visible or hidden from view, all those elements play a role in these works made between 1998 and 2010, now on view in Wassenaar. It's exactly this play with chaos & harmony that marks Kees de Goede as a prominent voice in the landscape of Dutch art. A sigh of relief when Kees and me hanged 149-27-15 with the Géricault side facing the viewer. Unlike the French couple we have no difficulty with the fact that this serene work carries a wild color flight on the other side of the sheet, on the contrary!


Winterstudio Theo Niermeijer (download PDF) watch the video.