atlas of contemporary art 2020


VAN EEGHEN, LUCAS Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), March 5, 1953 Technique: acrylic, oil, tempera, mixed media Genre: figurative Web: References: Gallery de twee pauwen

Lucas van Eeghen was born in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in 1953. He studied in the Netherlands, attending the Kunstacademie Minerva in Groningen and the Vrije Academie Psychopolis in the Hague between 1976 and 1979. He currently lives and works in Amsterdam. His artistic activity mainly focuses in the field of painting, a discipline he approaches with great originality, recovering the typical technique of traditional craftsmanship and by experimenting with personal and never conventional forms of expression. He prefers acrylic colors, tempera and oils as pictorial tools, through which he develops suggestive paintings and three-dimensional works, from which transpire atmospheres that are floating in time and space. The first works of van Eeghen are mainly in a figurative trend. It is a large group of works that, in their chromatic and stylistic choices, refer to the symbolist Ferdinand Khnopff and in the Dutch Johannes Vermeer. Some of these frame metropolitan views of New York and the interiors of public buildings, dwelling variously on the long perspective corridors, on the doors of entrances to halls and restaurants or on the twentieth-century furnishing details of cafes.

The same thematic series includes paintings dedicated to the Netherlands. The beauty comes alive in the panoramas of Amsterdam, het decay of a neo-Gothic church (Vondelkerk) and the Gothic architecture of a church in Alkmaar (Dominicus kerk).

An investigation of daily reality, that also touches more intimate and expressive strings, is the series family scenes. In this case, Van Eeghen offers a wide range of self-portraits, portraits of children and elderly mothers, in interiors with an intalian flavor, as is the case in Stromboli Villa Limone. The tours are intimate, warm, visually linked to the interior scenes of 17th-century Flemish and Dutch paintings.

Part of the first figurative series are the very interesting Gulf War paintings. The artist opens up to abstraction and a more conceptual language.

Thus he has come to the creation of works such as Blue and Red or Triptiek, a tribute to the masters of American abstract Expressionism, clearly inspired by the monochrome paintings of Mark Rothko.

In more recent works, however, he initiates a particular aesthetic research of the three-dimensionality of the pitoric image, using the mixed techniques to develop paintings of a suggestive impact, such as Butterflies Picknic (2011), Enigma (2012) and Alla nuova vita (2015). He is the unchallenged protoganist of nature, almost endangered, modeled and shaped through a highly creative expressive path. Van Eeghen, the alchemist of the twenty-first century, captures photgraphically details of the animal and vegetable Kingdom, defined through bright colors and wisely distributed. His intuitive and recognizable images are suspended between organic and artificial, detached from their support and visually inserted in a prominent position within the composition. They literally enter the spectator’s space.

In more recent works such as Out of the blue (2018) and La magie de la vie (2019) the artist offers emotionally charged images, imbued with a formidable and passionate power and poetic sensitivity.

Van Eeghen evokes a vocabulary of archetypes and iconographic models, constructing the surface with a schematic and at the same time baroque approach, in which the simple canvas transforms into a sort of high relief, thus breaking through the boundary of the plane. With this type of work, the artist expertly arrives and reworks the traditional relationship between himself and nature, where the dividing line between organic and artificial begins to evaporate. The fish, leaves, and shrubs of van Eeghen’s images are raised to eternity. His poetics therefore develops starting from the idea of a primordial harmony between the individual and the environment. In this sense, art was born to satisfy this desire to return to the origins, with an invitation to feel and touch to reveal the mystery of creation.

With his enigmatic and original production, Lucas van Eeghen has been enjoying wide acclaim from the public and critics for years, obtaining numerous awards, among which we mention, non-exhaustive: ‘3rd Willink van Van Collen’; "Lifetime achievementawardeof the Trienniale of Visual Art Award", Rome, 2017. Also noteworthy are the personal and collective exhibitions in which the artist took part, with imposing presences in New York, Monaco, London, Amsterdam and Rome.