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Bert Boogaard, paletten, work in progress, 2014, iriserende lak en acryl op doek, 30 x 24 cm

2 Jul — 13 Aug 2016

Colour is at the heart of the artistic practice of Bert Boogaard (1952). Over recent years, his work has predominantly focused on a search for and exploration of colour pigments and palettes, minutely researched in databases. Boogaard studied at Ateliers ’63 but it is his training as a mechanical engineer that echoes throughout his work. His paintings are built up of streamlined, systematic and abstract compositions of lines and grids, spheres or diamonds. Each piece is the result of a lengthy process: first, Boogaard produces sketches, followed by a construction drawing in which he works out the composition’s minutest details which he then meticulously implements using templates. This working method means that the artist may take several months to complete a painting.

Boogaard finds inspiration in everyday life, scouring the cosmetics counters of  department stores or sifting through the trinkets and confectionary sold by big high street chemists. He doesn’t shirk from incorporating elements borrowed from low culture, which he eagerly appropriates and transforms on his canvases. In many paintings, the original visual source is virtually untraceable. Behind the abstraction resides a world that leads us back to ribbons, lipsticks, foundation, flags, umbrellas, heraldry or even airmail. The fascination for the unending spectrum of colours and the use of commonplace objects offers an inexhaustible source for an exploratory artist with a precise way of working.

Blending elements of high and low culture gives the paintings an unusual resonance. A visible, almost tangible tension arises between a restrained, pure and wholly systematic abstraction and the exuberance of colours like pink paint, and materials like beads. Integrating the decorative into a sleek composition is Boogaard’s ongoing ambition to arrive at something more beautiful. While visually striking, his work is also self-effacing, and occupies a subtle yet palpable place in the space.

Paletten / Palettes presents the latest paintings by Bert Boogaard.