Following a blistering summer it is now time for an artistic cool-down. On 15 September, we will be launching the new gallery season with a big bang. We are proud to announce that Lucassen (1939) has joined our gallery. Lucassen’s work fits perfectly into our program, and his arrival further bolsters our reputation as a ‘follow-up’ gallery. Lucassen produces images that are formulated/ articulated using a pictorial idiom that is rich in associations, memories, non-conformism, symbols, and syntheses, and are always grounded in a powerful personal and expressive style. And that is exactly the sort of painting we aim to bring into the spotlight.
Although Lucassen’s world takes shape indoors, his gaze remains focused on the outside world, on life itself. He has been called a thinking painter, a modern symbolist who presents his viewers with a constructed reality which is far from straightforward. With Lucassen, the mystery of painting is in good hands. He ushers you into a wondrous world where there is much to see and where the rational exists alongside the personal and the intuitive – a world where you might think you recognize something but where you are just as likely to be left in amazement without knowing exactly what his formulations and constructions mean. No explanation is needed, though, because even without it the image is still full of meaning.
In his secluded room the curtains are almost always drawn. Only on rare occasions are they slightly opened, offering us a glimpse into the artist’s wondrous world. Not too much, just enough to give us something to hold on to. In his own way Lucassen gives meaning to things that are important to him, things that define and color his world. It might be something trivial, but sometimes he will use the same representation to express his admiration for some art historical masterpiece. He does not simply copy the work, on the contrary: he uses it to access his own reality by expressing his amazement about the enormous human potential. He has the ability to translate every pictorial element of his choice into a new form and meaning, and in so doing always carries it into the present.
In the1960s and 1970s, Lucassen painted constructions in which figurative elements predominate. From the 1980s onward, he abandons figuration, only to reintroduce it in his assemblages of the past fifteen years. The diversity of formal manifestations could also be called a kind of ‘de-stylization’. His unique oeuvre is indeed incomparable. Lucassen has become his own style without falling back on stylistic devices or the constraints of theory. This has resulted in paintings and assemblages of great pictorial and intuitive richness that have allowed him to translate the personal into the universal.