The Tilburg School & Piet Hein Eek

28 Jan - 21 May 2006

The Tilburg School is a union of the five artists Paul van Dongen, Guido Geelen, Marc Mulders, Reinoud van Vught and Ronald Zuurmond. The five have earned a reputation as a group of talented artists who feel an affinity with each other in terms of mentality as well as motives, collaboration and friendship.

Since 1985 the members of the Tilburg School have been brought together in numerous exhibitions throughout the museum and gallery world. In addition to this, they have initiated exhibitions themselves. The concentration of talent in Tilburg has not gone unnoticed. Jhim Lamoree first coined the group as such in his review of Reinoud van Vught’s work in the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool (1997). From that time on, the name has been used in the media and the artist themselves have appropriated it.

Aside from having roots in Tilburg, the artists share a particular concern for the spiritual and pictorial legacy of 2000 years of Christianity and humanism. There is a mutual recognition in the desire to continue working, today, with traditional materials such as watercolor and oil paint, clay and bronze, and techniques such as stained glass, drypoint and tapestry.

One of the mechanisms within the school is the constant search for a joint motif. In the past, for instance, new works and new dialogues have been generated on the basis of the themes Skulls, Pieta, Roots, Pilgrimage and Eden. Recently, in Amsterdam, the Tilburg School commissioned designer Piet Hein Eek to build Noah’s Ark for the storage of their themes. This ‘secret church’ can be regarded as a place to preserve valuable symbols and to prepare for the venture to other shores.