When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Helen Verhoeven

Helen Verhoeven employs a loose expressionistic style to evoke a highly charged psychological world. The events in her work are not always clear but there is a sense of tension, or disconnection, a brooding question mark hangs over the participants as if they might be unaware of their own or each other's motivation, or even actions. With her two large "Event" projects from 2008 she created large almost mural sized paintings of large ceremonial social gatherings. She then created a whole series of separate paintings that were details of the the original. Or the other way around. But the effect is one of minute scrutiny into an opaque and incomprehensible social event. Even her painting style contributes to the sense of unease, suggesting that crowds and cultural and social behaviors consist of unknowable or perhaps primitive individual motivations and are therefor, ultimately, even disturbingly, abstract.
There is plenty of wonderful work to look through on her website that shows an ongoing and fascinating transformation of style and intent over time.  www.helenverhoeven.com

"Event Two", acrylic on canvas, 208.5 x 418 cm (82” x 164.5" inches), 2008

"Event One", acrylic on canvas, 198 x 404 cm (78” x 159" inches), 2008

Out of these large scenes she recreated many details as their own paintings....

"Event One" detail 4 (room with portrait)  oil on canvas, 183 x 152.5 cm (72” x 60" inches), 2008

And here's one of the paintings in the above painting done as it's own painting. I really enjoy the multi-layered reality of all this.

"Event One – Detail 6 (Portrait with Sons)"  oil on canvas, 183 x 122 cm (72” x 48" inches), 2008

Here's some context to give you an idea of scale.

And here's a couple more pieces from other series....

 "Half After - 3"  oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm (59 x 78.7 inches) 2009

"Don't Do Me Any Favors" oil on canvas, 106.7 x 147.3 cm (42" x 58" inches), 2007

I'd like to credit booooooom.com with first bringing her work to my attention.

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