‘The Stillness, literally ‘silence’ of everything before it turns into dust. That fascinates me.’
Things like dried leafs, dried flowers, a rusty piece of iron or weather-affected planks are subject of the paintings of Aad Hofman (Vlaardingen, 1944). He left the Vrije Academie in The Hague in 1973 and he has been an artist of Galerie Mokum ever since. Back in the days he mainly painted old houses and chipped doors and windows. In his recent work he composes objects of dead material into a still life. The structure of the objects in their old state determine the character of the paintings. The material is vulnerable and fragile and can barely be hold, because it’s so breakable. Hofman is intrigued by dead and arid material. To him it can be wonderfull to capture the beauty of things that don’t have a meaning on their own and that have been left by human.
‘I use common things, that are not common anymore because they lost their original appearance through time, as my starting point’
The rusty iron lost it’s original function and has become a color palette, just like the matured leaf that has become a feast of shapes. The artist depicts al these elements with great technique.
Hofman uses a sober color palette that temper the busy shape pattern of the flowers and the leafs. He knows how to create great profoundness in his work by showing texture and shadows. The contrast between sober colors, busy shape patterns, compact depicts and delicate materials that keep the spectator fascinated. In his recent work Hofman has reduced the elements in the painting, in this way the background plays a bigger role in his work. The simplicity in the composition and the dark background bring peace into his paintings. The paintings have become smaller and more intimate throughout the years.
The making of an interesting, fascinating composition takes a lot of time. After that he sketches the composition in it’s full size on the panel or the canvas. Then he will use light and brown watercolor like oil paint. When this is dry he will give the work more colour and deepness. And when this layer is dry he will accentuate the details with thin layers of glazing paint, sometimes four to five layers. This takes a lot of time, but it’s necessary to get the right tension into the artwork. Painting to Hofman is a way to release himself from the world around him. He can withdraw himself like a monk to work on his paintings. The stillness and peace during working on a painting are a delight to him.
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