Hans de Wit

Eindhoven NL 1952, lives and works in Eindhoven

Hans de Wit is a masterly draughtsman. The applied perspective, the atmospheric effect of light and the sculptural rendering of subjects invite us to enter the virtual space of his drawings. This is an expedition that requires time: the longer we look, the more we discover. The enormous size of his work is scarcely sufficient to accomodate its wealth of motifs. Scale and proportions frequently mislead the eye, and motifs drawn in great detail often prove to be unfathomable. Yet the inventiveness and technical skill with which they have taken shape make them surprisingly real. Here collapsed structures, steel constructions meandering like vines, are on equal footing with thorny formations and stalks of plants, wasps' nests, birds, snails and mudskippers.

His drawings can be interpreted as allegorical representations of what goes on in the world. In that respect, but also in terms of the visual language he employs, they belong to a tradition that goes back to sixteenth-century artists such as Pieter Bruegel. The religious or moral message contained in many of Bruegel's works has, with De Wit, become much more ambiguous import. He creates a world in which ambiguity predominates, a world which is both fascinating and repulsive. In that world man plays merely a subordinate role. He has become part of a movement that he has not started and cannot control; life is like a plot whose secrets will never be revealed.