Hans de Wit in conversation with Huib Fens, sculptor and poet, and Christianne Niesten, professor in Art History at Academy Fontys, Tilburg, Netherlands in interview for the magazine of Academy Fontys, Tilburg, Netherlands on the occasion of de Wit's exhibition In the On-Offs 12 January - 3 March 2013.
Looking at the work of Dutch artist Hans de Wit (1952) is a dizzying, exhilarating experience. These drawings hit you in a number of ways at once - organic and inorganic forms colliding, morphing, deteriorating, pushing, pulsing, falling and twisting; the scale is often huge (large format works are often 2.5m in length), and then there’s the rush of howling sound. As we move closer to enjoy these visions that somehow recall the epic gestures of John Martin (1789), we begin to recognise elements; the dark and threatening hull of a submarine, a bushbaby...a gonad?... getting lost in the distance from edge to edge of the paper and the depth of the artist’s imagination.
De Wit moved his practice from painting to drawing some years back in a bid for figurative clarity and depth that was hard to capture in oil. Since then he has steadily built a major body of work that has been exhibited and collected widely in his home country. Exhibiting superlative technical facility combined with the most extraordinary visual ingenuity results in works that allow us, in these times, a rare sense of wonder and draw us into a ‘labyrinth of endlessly significant complexity’ (The Doors of Perception - Aldous Huxley, 1954).
Isis Gallery Magazine here has the privilege to offer a preview of de Wit’s latest body of drawings entitled In Bright Shadows (2014).
In addition and as a tangential accompaniment, de Wit here presents a text work that will neither explain nor clarify anything...
30 steps (?) to choose for phenomenon: “The conflict” Hans de Wit 2014
- you are advised to watch carefully and do not overestimate your skills in pre-judgements
- prepare to encounter and be reasonable at the same time if you get overwhelmed or not.
- if you notice ‘normal’ air doesn’t function anymore, stay hopeful but also alert.
There will be a solution in an instant if you act peaceful
- if you lose a part of your hearing do not hesitate and search for a animal with sharpened ears. Or better: give ear to the call of the artist.
- if you suddenly get black areas floating around in your vision, please move your eyes very fast from left to right or even worse from right to the left. This is the only way to see things awkward again.
- you may burst out in tears when it is too hard to choose for a formal or narrative interpretation.
ingredients: Indian ink, watercolour, toner, velvet, pencil, pastel, paper 150 gr.
application: reduces the time required to get in a situation of conflict
warning: if you look too superficial or to fast, your senses will be irritated for a while and the only remedy for this affection is a slow rehearsal or playback.
dosage: one image a day will be sufficient but if you prefer more it is admitted but first think it over.
appearance: 30 leaves of paper, size 50 x 29 cm
use before: eternity
“In the drama of conscious existence, it is not theory and practice that encounter each other, but enigma and transparency, phenomenon and insight. If enlightenment does occur, it does so not through the establishment of a dictatorship of lucidity but as the dramatic self-illumination of existence”
Hans de Wit for Isis Gallery Magazine Issue 3 Autumn 2014