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Landscape Powlathanga 2012 Acrylic & pastel on paper 29.6x42cm



Recent drawings and studies inspired by Australia It is the scrub, its informality, bush tracks, stumps, fences, the litter of bark and leaves, and its transformation by flood and fire, that has attracted Theo Kuijpers to the Australian landscape. It’s not unusual for an Australian artist to respond to such elements in landscape but it is rare for an artist from Holland. The Australian environment is certainly very different to that in and around Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where Theo Kuijpers has lived all his life and where he has a studio. Nevertheless, as the son of a farmer, it is landscape and farming detritus that often strikes the deepest chord in him. Characteristic of his art is its landscape-like materiality, the incorporation of all manner of discarded materials in pastes of paint – denim trousers, embroidered tablecloths, twigs, rope or string. Tarpaulins and old sails are also favourite materials. Collage and impasto is however missing from his drawings and gouaches, where transparency of paper and incidental markings with a pen or brush hold sway. Pastel, ink, washes of acrylic, watercolour and gouache contribute to the power of these playfully fluid studies that are suggestive of atmosphere, of air and light and fire. For the artist they are diary-like jottings to generate other, usually much larger, works of art. Their spontaneity and modesty of size may belie their potency, but not their undeniable appeal. This is the first time that Theo Kuijpers’s small drawings and studies in gouache, watercolour or acrylic wash have been shown in Australia. In fact they have rarely been brought together for exhibition before, 2

though occasionally some are illustrated in various publications of his work. All but three were made since his last visit to Australia in 2009 when he attended the opening of the exhibition Intensely Dutch1 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. As one of fifteen post-war Dutch artists included in that exhibition, it gave him the opportunity to see Australia again after 24 years, and he is looking forward to a possible longer return in the near future. Theo Kuijpers stayed for 2 months in 2009. He again met up with the lithographic printer Fred Genis (who precipitated his first visit in 1979) and other artist friends, including Anneke Silver in Townsville, northern Queensland, and Henny van den Wildenberg at Port Willunga in South Australia. Anneke Silver took him to Charters Towers and Henny van den Wildenberg provided him with a studio, full sheets of Arches paper and encaustic paint. Contrary to his usual practice2 he made a series of works on paper at Port Willunga based on what he saw in Queensland at Charters Towers and elsewhere during that 2 month visit. Two of his encaustics were immediately purchased by the AGNSW. Three smaller encaustics made at Port Willunga are included here. All the other works on paper in this exhibition were made since that visit. It is remarkable how fully immersed Theo Kuijpers has been in Australian-inspired subject matter over the 4 years since that last visit. Not long after he was back in his studio in the Dutch summer of 2009, he emailed to tell me that it felt as if a kookaburra had

flown into his studio in Eindhoven, so vivid were his impressions of Australia.3 For most gallery-going Sydneysiders the first sight of Theo Kuijpers’s work was in the exhibition Intensely Dutch. However it wasn’t the first time his work was shown in Sydney,4 nor was his attendance at the opening the first time that he had been in Sydney. It is relatively rare for contemporary Dutch artists to exhibit in Australia, that is, apart from those who live here and are part of the Australian art scene. It was therefore something of a surprise to me how warmly the exhibition Intensely Dutch was received in Sydney, though somewhat regrettable that there has been no sequel until now. The advantage of this exhibition however, is the opportunity to purchase. Theo Kuijpers can be considered an inheritor of the heady first wave of the post-war Dutch art of the late 1940s and early 1950s – of the Cobra group as well as those who took another path and used heavy impastos of paint or turned to collage, found objects and sculpture to create abstract works. As a representative of the best of contemporary Dutch art, Theo Kuijpers has established a tangible link between the experience of Dutch and Australian artists that barely existed before. During his first visit in 1979 he travelled to Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and met with indigenous artists. He also met other Australian artists such as John Olsen, Brett Whiteley, John Firth Smith and Lloyd Rees. And he left an indelible impression on Tim Storrier, who adopted some of Theo Kuijpers’ collage techniques. He returned in 1985 for a second look and produced a series of colour lithographs with Fred Genis that he named Australia. In a

retrospective survey of his art at the Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 1988, his Australian-inspired works were the most surprising and compelling.5 He is enthusiastic about Australian art, especially by artists he has met, such as Olsen, Whiteley and Firth-Smith, he is strongly attracted to the singular vision of Ian Fairweather and Fred Williams and very keen to see the work of Elisabeth Cummings at first hand. Concurrent with this Sydney showing of small works on paper, De Pont in Tilburg (Netherlands), one of the most exciting private art museums for contemporary art in Europe, has an exhibition of Theo Kuijpers’s recent work, including major paintings inspired by Australia. Refer to: Hendrik Kolenberg 1 Refer to the catalogue: Hendrik Kolenberg Intensely Dutch, image abstraction and the word, post-war and beyond Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2009 2 His art is essentially non-representational or abstract, and though he travels with art-making in mind, he rarely draws or paints while he is away from home, preferring to reflect on his experiences when he is back in his studio: I can’t paint what I see. So that’s why I don’t have to travel often. What I paint, it always seems to me, is memory. It is memory which creates images. And it is travelling, leaving and returning that creates memory. 3 Hendrik Kolenberg ‘A kookaburra in the studio or Intensely Dutch revisited’ Look (Art Gallery Society of NSW) February 2011 pp14-16 4 Lithographs by Theo Kuijpers featured in exhibitions about the activity of the lithographer Fred Genis: The artist and the printer, lithographs 1966-1981 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 1982; From the studio of master lithographer Fred Genis, a retrospective exhibition 1965-1995 Westpac Gallery, Melbourne 1997. He also exhibited with Port Jackson Press in, Sydney and Melbourne in 1979. 5 The catalogue for this exhibition, Theo Kuijpers, terugblik op twintig jaar kunstenaarschap Noordbrabants Museum’s-Hertogenbosch 1988, includes many colour plates of Australianinspired works with titles such as Reisverslag Australië and Down under. Illustrations of his drawings and studies in this catalogue also include Aboriginal motifs.



Losing the Way 2012 Ink & pastel on paper 29.6x42cm


Landscape Fairbairn 2012 Ink & pastel on paper 29.6x42cm 6

Landscape Girraween 2012 Gouache on paper 24x32cm 7

Near Emerald 2012 Gouache on paper 29.8 x 39.8cm


Suggesting a Tale 2012 Gouache on paper 29.8x39.8cm

Near Bluff 4 2012 Gouache & pastel on paper 29.6x42cm


Tracks 3 2012 Ink on paper 29.4x41.7cm


Tracks 4 2010 Ink on paper 29.4x41.7cm

Sacred Place 2012 Ink & pastel on paper 29.4x41.7cm



Visit to Girraween 2012 Gouache on paper 32x24cm

Sketch for Trees, Tracks and Fences 2012 Gouache & pastel on paper 29.6x42cm


Balfes Creek 2012 Gouache on paper 24x32cm 14

Landscape Pentland 2012 Gouache on paper 24x32cm 15

Landscape near Wambiana 2009 Encaustic & gouache on paper 29.7x42cm


Return Home 2013 Gouache on paper 24x32cm

Near Bluff 2 2009 Encaustic & gouahce on paper 29.7x42cm

Overview Coraki 2012 Ink & watercolour on paper 29.6x42cm


Signs for Magic 2009 Encaustic & gouache on paper 29.7x42cm


Dingo 2012 Ink & pastel on paper 29.6x42cm

Theo Kuijpers Born in 1939, Helmond, near Eindhoven, Netherlands, Theo Kuijpers studied art at the School of Industrial Design, Eindhoven 1957-1961. He has travelled widely, including the Dutch West Indies, South America and North Africa, Europe, USA, Indonesia and Australia, and exhibited frequently throughout Holland, in Germany and Belgium. Particular highlights include a retrospective exhibition at the Noordbrabantsmuseum’s-Hertogenbosch in 1988, a major monograph by Rick Vercauteren in 2005 and inclusion in Intensely Dutch at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2009. Selected Solo Exhibitions 2014 De Pont, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg King Street Gallery on William, Sydney 2013 Schlessart, Bergen, Noord Holland 2010/11 Galerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven 2006 Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag 2005 Galerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven 2003 De Krabbedans, Eindhoven 2002 Galerie Wansink, Roermond KunstRai, Amsterdam 1999 Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo 1997 Gasunie, Groningen; Europees Keramisch Werkcentrum, ’s-Hertogenbosch; Museum Dobermann, Altenberge Hohenhorst (Germany) 1994-97 Galerie Wansink, Roermond 1992 Kunstenaarscentrum, Bergen aan Zee 1990-2003 Galerie Clasing, Münster (Germany) 1990 Mondriaanhuis, Winterswijk; Singer Museum, Laren 1988-2004 Galerie William Wauters, Oosteeklo (Belgium) 1988 Noordbrabantsmuseum, ’s-Hertogenbosch 1987 Museum Waterland, Purmerend


Gemeentelijk Kunst Centrum, Hengelo Atelier Hildebrandstrasse, Dusseldorf (Germany) Museum voor Land en Volkenkunde, Rotterdam 1982-2004 Galerie Lambert Tegenbosch, Heusden, Amsterdam, Eindhoven 1980 De Librij, Zwolle Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem 1979 Port Jackson Press, Sydney 1979-83 Galerie S 65, Aalst (Belgium) 1977-83 Galerie De Biggelarij, Nuenen 1976-2005 Wetering Galerie, Amsterdam 1972-77 Galerie De Ruimte, Eersel 1967 Galerie Felix, Maastricht 1965 Galerie ’t Wiel, Eindhoven 1961 Gemeentehuis, Mierlo 1958 Galerie van Kemenade, Mierlo Selected Group Exhibitions 2009 Intensely Dutch Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2003 Bouwwerken Galerie Lambert, Valkenswaard 2002 Beneden de rivieren Jan Cunen Centrum, Oss 1998 Avanti, een keuze uit de collectie van Delfauwes Stedelijk Museum, Roermond 1997 Rencontres Nieuwe Brabantse Kunst Stichting, Breda From the studio of master lithographer Fred Genis, a retrospective exhibition 1965-1995 Westpac Gallery, Melbourne 1996 De muze als motor De Beyerd , Breda Meesterlijk De Krabbedans, Eindhoven Beelding Belfort, Brugge (Belgium) 1994 Sphagnum et Lumen Bergkerk, Deventer De Warande, Turnhout (Belgium)


1989 1986 1984 1983 1982 1980 1977 1972 1969

1968 1967

Zuidenwind Noordbrabantsmuseum, ’s-Hertogenbosch ABN/AMRO collectie, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Ooghoogte Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven De IJmuiderkring De Beyerd, Breda, Stadhuis, Velsen Een kunstwerk en wat er aan vooraf ging Nederlandse Kunststichting, Amsterdam Art Fair Basel, Switzerland The artist and the printer National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Het autonome tekenen; Brabant Biënnale Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven Paper for Space Reykjavik (Iceland), Duisburg (Germany), Antwerpen (Belgium), Amsterdam Derde Zuidnederlandse Triënnale Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven Tweede Zuidnederlandse Triënnale Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven Koninklijk Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen (Belgium) Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch De vijfjaarlijkse Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven Jonge Nederlandse kunst Schiedam, Meppel, Maastricht

Public collections Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch Rijksmuseum Twente, Enschede Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam Koninklijk Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussel (Belgium) Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-Hau (Germany) Jan Cunen Centrum, Oss De Rietgors, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Papendrecht 20

Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed, Amsterdam & Rijswijk National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Selected Bibliography 2009 Hendrik Kolenberg Intensely Dutch Art Gallery of NSW Sydney 2005 Rick Vercauteren Theo Kuijpers, een bezield constructivist / ein beseelter konstruktivist Galerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven 2003 Frank Eerhart Theo Kuijpers, arcades De Krabbedans, Eindhoven 1999 Lambert Tegenbosch & Peter van Vlerken Theo Kuijpers schilderijen, Arie Berkulin beelden Museum van Bommel van Dam 1995 Theo Kuijpers Theo Kuijpers, Herinnering Marokko Galerie Tegenbosch, Heusden aan de Maas 1991 Lambert Tegenbosch Theo Kuijpers, la Sicilia Nera Galerie Tegenbosch, Heusden aan de Maas 1988 Rick Vercauteren Theo Kuijpers, terugblik op twintig jaar kunstenaarschap Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch 1986 Karel Schampers Theo Kuijpers, Tussen IJmuiden en Steenbokskeerkring Galerie Tegenbosch, Eindhoven 1984 Bert Schierbeek & Reyer Kras IJmuider kring Reflex, Utrecht 1980 Karel Schampers Theo Kuijpers, Australië 1979 Wetering Galerie, Amsterdam 1979 Wetering Galerie, Amsterdam 1978 Meine Fernhout Zeven litho’s door Theo Kuijpers in samenwerking met steendrukker Fred Genis Amsterdam

Photography: Julianna Kolenberg Essay: Hendrik Kolenberg Designer: Sam Woods Special thanks to Ellen Jess and Rob Kars

Concurrent with the exhibition at King Street Gallery on William, is a solo exhibition of recent paintings at De Pont museum of contemporary art, Tilburg.

As described succinctly by De Pont: The work of Theo Kuijpers reveals two inspirational sources: the farmland of the province of Noord-Brabant, where he grew up, and his many journeys around the world. His stays in Morocco and in Australia with its aboriginal art formed the most important turning points in his career.

King Street Gallery on William

10am – 6pm Tuesday – Saturday 177 William St Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Australia T: 61 2 9360 9727 Directors: Robert Linnegar and Randi Linnegar

Member of the Australian Commercial Galleries Assocation Registered Valuer with the Australian Government Taxations Incentives for the Arts Scheme Published by King Street Studios P/L 2013 ISBN: 978-0-9875540-1-7

Theo Kujpers 2014 Exhibition Catalogue King Street Gallery on William  
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