Hans Broek

Veenendaal NL 1965, lives and works in New York

Hans Broek has been working in the United States for quite some time now. His depictions of cities, or rugged, barren areas on the American west coast are painted memories of what the artist saw during his travels by car. These are visual reconstructions, landscapes that are partly realistic and partly imaginary.

Hans Broek evidently enjoys the painterly construction of such semi-fictitious landscapes or urban scenery. It allows him to combine various stylistic devices. Roofs, windows and facades are rendered by him as bright pink or caramel brown surfaces, painted dead straight with the aid of masking tape. The bushes, on the other hand, are painted in lush movements. The tops are adorned with glistening, silvery white specks. This gives rise to a decorative pattern of fan-shaped planes, elegant swirls and dots – one that is subtly interwoven with the structure of the geometric planes.

The distinctive qualities of Hans Broek’s paintings include not only sober figuration and technical control, but also the slightly enigmatic presence of places and objects which are nonetheless rendered clearly and concretely. In this Broek shows himself to be a kindred spirit of Edward Hopper, whose deserted gas stations or solitary lighthouses express a similarly uncanny tranquility.