Kees Goudzwaard’s tape paintings look like they’re made up of masking tape and paper whereas in fact they’re actually paintings of collages. It is a slow and grinding process which begins with Goudzwaard making a collage out of square and rectangular pieces of coloured paper, acetate and transparent foil which he fixes together with masking tape. The collage making takes him weeks as carefully deliberates over the right composition – colour and form – for his paintings. Once the final ‘prototype’ is completed he meticulously reproduces the collage – by carefully applying thin, even layers of paint in order to achieve a perfect realisation – on canvas at a scale of 1:1 transforming the copy into a new original as the collage, which bears the trace of the artist’s creativity, never enters the public arena and gets destroyed once the work is finished.
There is no narrative, nothing left to chance, Goudzwaard works exclusively on paint and colour leaving the viewer to concentrate on the painted image without distraction as the composition and subject are made redundant through the process of making the picture.
From a statement on his website:
His work challenges, through repetition and reproduction, ideas of authorship, originality and meaning, questioning the fundamental roots of abstract painting’s modernist legacy while reclaiming the pleasure of the act of painting. So even if his paintings’ repetitive structure could suggest that there is no space except self-referentiality, his works actually refuse to acknowledge the exhaustion of painting as a practice. On the contrary, it is clear that Kees Goudzwaard’s works react to painting’s contemporary crisis.
Whichever way you put it his paintings are beautiful to look at, the compositions wonderful, the colour fields a place your eyes could wander in for hours. Here’s more theoretical talk on his paintings that’s worth considering:
In this regard, Goudzwaard’s pictures are not at all to be reduced to the effects of an illusionary trick. Instead, it looks to me as if by this very aesthetic means – which could be described as a conceptual and post-modern update of the Bauhaus studies – the artist has found his own way of creating a painterly space, in which the illusionism of the Old Masters can coexist – on a very abstract level – with the non-figurative colour fields of modern and contemporary art. By choosing modernist arrays of flat papers as his “motifs”, illusionism and non-figuration, realism and abstraction, Modernism and Post-Modernism are held in suspense.
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