Fly Your Colours

Rens Krikhaar

paintings, drawings

2 June– 7 July 2013

Rens Krikhaar (b. 1982) is highly interested in the tradition of both western and Asian art. About a year ago he took to the subject of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century seascapes. This also lead him to spend time studying maritime history bringing famous admirals such as Michiel de Ruyter and notorious raiders like Simon the Dancer to life. From this historic perspective he revives the tradition of maritime painting. His small canvases often show a delicate image in which the ships are painted in only a few brushstrokes. The bigger paintings have dramatic light contrasts and almost hallucinating colours in which violent images of fire and explosions, and men of war are rendered. Because of the exuberant colours and slight stylization of the image the paintings are unmistakably contemporary in character, one of Rens Krikhaar’s sea battles was shown at the annual exhibition for the Dutch Royal Award for Modern Painting in 2012 in Amsterdam.

In his drawings Rens Krikhaar uses a variety of subjects, often they are based on dreams. In his ongoing series Distilled Dreams surreal images are to be seen, varying from massmeetings to mysterious landscapes and religious architecture. Sometimes a narrative element is present, the Holuthoroidea series for instance  tells the story of a giant sea cucumber that swallows a ship. In recent drawings Rens Krikhaar reinterprets the seaven deadly sins. As in his paintings a certain stylization is present in Rens Krikhaar’s drawings, reminiscent of graphic art of the 1920’s but also of Japanese woodcuts and tattoos.