paintings by Alexander, by Frans van Heel.
The search for expressing and appointing the sense of being
and human existence can be seen as the beginning of Alexander’s
artistic development. This search, which started in 1997, was
soon doomed to end up in a labyrinth of ideas and concepts.
With a certain irony a new and dynamic development arose at
the moment when he was able to unhook himself from this search.
But to make this new development fit in the desired shape it
was necessary to leave the current movements of modern art.
It was in this proces that Alexander started to realise that
it wasn't so much the sense of concept which he wanted to show
in his paintings. It was more the sharing of his admiration
for the existing beauty around him that took his attention.
As beauty was a matter that always fascinated him, he now was
looking for a beauty which consisted only in its most pure form,
existing only in and by it self. With this new insight he also
found a connection to the conceptions of Zen-buddhistic art.
The concept that beauty is not created by the artist but is
revealed by adding or leaving out certain elements is greatly
admired in zen-buddhistic art. Next to the Zen-buddhistic arts,
Alexander has a great affinity to the old Dutch Masters who
where specialized in painting landscapes with the famous Dutch
This approach to beauty helped Alexander to find a more suitable
expression for his own conception of a beauty. After making
several studies in 2001 he arrived to a point where he was able
to make some paintings in which he was coming to what he saw
as an expression of pure beauty. The studies that I mentioned
consist mostly out of landscapes which are characterized by
a certain visual exuberance and romantic drama concerning the
overwhelming beauty of nature. But already in these studies
we see that Alexander is using the idea of revealing the beauty
by letting us look at a extensiveness of an almost abstract
landscape with impressive clouds and leaving out most of the
distracting figurating elements.
In his following work, ‘Conceptions’, we find that
this method of leaving out the figurating elements is showing
us an even more abstracting form. His paintings are becoming
a sort of still lifes, short moments with just a few branches,
a tree or some leaves in contrast with a blue, somewhat threatening
clouded sky. All painted in a most delicate manner. The branches
sometimes seem to be characterized in a deathly or wintry fashion
by the absence of leaves, budds, flowers or fruit.
This suggest that there is a strong feeling of melancholy in
some of his works. When we look at the ‘studies’
and then at the ‘Conceptions’, a striking difference
reveals itself. As we look at the studies we see that the center
of perspective is pointed to the horizon while the center of
perspective in the ‘Conceptions’ is moved to a higher
point of view.
When we look at the way the paintings are made we see that Alexander
uses a highly realistic and delicate way of painting details.
The purpose here is to show nothing but what he is seeing himself.
He doesn’t want to add a certain emotion or impression
by using a more expressive or impressionistic approach. It is
not so much the technique or the expression of the artist what
matters. Only the beauty in a serene silence and a minimum of
distraction to the viewer should be illustrated by the artist
in the most realistic way possible. The skills of the artist
serve the purpose, to reveal a pure and serene beauty.
MA cultural and historical sciences and close friend