Walter van Oel does the name of colorist proud. Here we find an artist whose message takes full meaning only with and through colour. On entering a room with his works there is no escaping the fascination we feel. We are literally hit by a vast array of colours. Colours as energy. At times the energy is subdued, at other times the energy vibrates from the shock of contrast. Interestingly, the shades and combinations of van Oel colourful world are simple. What stands out is the choice of tones, and in particular the stunning, metallic brilliance that emanates from them. It is as if there is some secret alchemy at the basis of Van Oel’s use of colour. As if the colours come from an enriched pigment dug from deep down. Outstanding. Yet, in the quality of the artist’s works, there is more than a simple play with colours. There is also texture, used as a colour-enhancing device.
Van Oel often paints on crumpled aluminium sheets in mono- or multi-chromatic bright tones. The impact of natural light or, even better, artificial lighting, brings the whole painting to life, creating the luminescent impression of shimmering lights, producing an unprecedented effect. Walter van Oel is also fond of calligraphy, which operates in his works on two levels: as personal expression, and as a reworking of existing cultural signs. Signs with no other meaning than that most primal one: a declaration of ‘being’.
In short, Walter van Oel is a great modern artist. He inherits the simplicity of the best Mondrians and Minimalists. His brush has the energetic power of abstract Expressionists. Yet his paintings are neither simple nor abstract.
PRIVATE MUSEUM Dr. OEI HONG DJIEN – MAGELANG
ALEX MULDER, BELGIUM
CATHY SAMPOERNA, JAKARTA
SUNARJO SAMPOERNA, SURABAYA
EDWIN SAMPOERNA, SINGAPORE
ARMA MUSEUM, UBUD – BALI
CHRISTIANTO TJAHJADI, BALI
Singer Museum, Laren
Stedelijk Museum, Kampen show
Jan van der Togt Museum, Amstelveen
ARMA Museum, Bali
Museum National, Jakarta
WALTER VAN OEL, Frans Duister, Text. English, French, Dutch. ISBN 90 71082 23-7
WALTER VAN OEL. CHINAPROJECT, Wim J. van der Beek,Text. English, Dutch. ISBN 90 805182-1-2
OOG IN OOG, English, Dutch, Ruvert Ophorst, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen
WALTER VAN OEL, Jean Couteau and Wim J. van der Beek,Text. English, Indonesia Sharon’s Co., Bali.
Article by Jean Couteau. Couteau is one of the most important chroniclers of Balinese society in the last 30 years as well as an internationally acknowledged art critic and journalist
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