Jan Wattjes, Form and Content; Livingstone Gallery, The Hague

As i said before The Hague seems to be a good breeding ground for non-provincial artists.

It is just that the city and its people don’t seem to know.

The Hague is like an alchemist trying to make gold while not aware of (or not even interested in) all the silver it is creating in the mean time.

Take for instance an artist like Jan Wattjes (1981).

His artistic development is one that seems to grow horizontally like an oil stain, carefully balancing in between representation and abstraction, between emptiness and fullness, between melancholia and humour, between romanticism and realism.

He doesn’t seem to reach for the best possible painting, knowing too well that is in vain anyway, and also knowing that his works have their own form and content that need no more improvement, because they are what they are.

Indeed his works are a bit bluesy, but without repeating the same rhythm endlessly.

Presently some of his recent works are on show at Livingstone Gallery.

It is quite a wonderful collection of paintings, but it also makes one long for a bigger retrospective in a bigger space where one can see a more full extension of the oil stain Wattjes has been creating for the last fourteen years or so, including his drawings.

As there may still be no plans to organise something like that, you can always dream about it while visiting the present exhibition.

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Jan Wattjes and Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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