Toon Verhoef

Voorburg NL 1946, lives and works in Edam

oil and alkyd on linen
150 x 100 cm

The motif is changeable by nature. In a painting, for instance, it assumes a flaccid form which then swells and shrinks, becomes softer or harder. Its shapes are fluid forms of metamorphosis. The painter, not wanting to pin himself down, has chosen this because it is so unfailingly changeable. Due to his boasting the young Actaeon was punished by being transformed into a stag and then torn apart by his own hunting dogs. That was, you might say, a tidy metamorphosis. In the capricious labyrinth of informal abstract art, however, we see a form that resembles nothing turning into another form that also resembles nothing. That is the exercise here. Painting number nine seems to be a kind of mirage. The motif, with its compactly undulating periphery, is radiantly white, and floating around it is a clear-sky blue. That azure is interrupted by wispy, smudgy white. That's the image: a sky with clouds. Here the strips, so robust in painting number three, look like narrow transparent slats or slips of paper (which is indeed what they may have been while the image was developing) particularly because they're so white and seem to be drawn with a thin brush, then heightened with white here and there. Their fall is also less erratic than it is in some other paintings. That movement goes downward at a slight diagonal from the upper right. The slats quietly dangle around a bit. It seems as though they glide along a ray of light. Thus I interpret this 'sky' incident (or trapeze act) as the joining of lines which, going straight across the white central area of the cloud motif, hold the slats there like a safety net.

R.H. Fuchs (translation Beth O'Brien)