Born and raised in Rotterdam, Jeroen Allart (1970) studied at the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam, Willem de Kooning Academie Rotterdam and the Rijksacademie Amsterdam. He is known for his flat-painted works depicting birds, cowboy portraits and landscapes with a very low horizon. His work was recently shown at the S.M.A.K., Ghent.
The near-monochrome backgrounds in Dutch landscapes and Cowboys by Jeroen Allart, including close-ups of birds in solitude have a painterly feel of cut-outs. In his defiantly flat open-air paintings, there is a doubleness that rings true for the Dutch countryside. The carefree nondescript look of his paintings or the hedonistic looks of his cowboys and –girls are deceptive. A poignant undertone is apparent. As if the grass, the skies and the birds are in equilibrium but holding their breath.
Allart’s latest works remain faithful to his flat painting style. His skilful handling of paint leads to the creation of nearly hyperrealistic compositions. When you look at the painting from a distance, they appear to be more like prints or cut–outs rather than paintings, without a single brush stroke to be found.
The 2015 works where not meant to be a series, nevertheless they could be seen as one. The beach scenes recall snapshots observing people from behind. They are seen from a low view, so that the observer needs to raise his eyes to see the whole. There are no unnecessary details distracting from the compositions. The seascapes could be found anywhere, although this could also be questioned since the water in ‘Strand’ is not a beach paradise–like azure blue, but a typical North Sea murky–green. The Flemish couple is a theme that could only come across in this specific geographic location . Dressed in heavy winter coats the elderly couple is well prepared for a walk in the cold strong North Sea wind. Olive, a character from the Popeye series, is another reminder of the sea.
His work is included in important collections, from Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem, Ministry of foreign affairs to different European and non-European embassies.
Tekst: Fioana Schendel
Afb: Holland / 70x70cm / olieverf / 2016 / © Jeroen Allart