Raymond Cuijpers (1973), Jeroen Hofhuizen (1968) graduated from the Art Academy in Maastricht in the mid 1990’s. There they received classical training in painting with a concentration on still life and figure drawing in the early stages. Their paintings were constructions of dots and lines. The influences of the hilly Limburg countryside were palpable.
These two painters form the core of the exhibition titled The Act of Painting. Shows are planned in multiple cities starting in Europe. The foremost goal of the collective is to present abstraction. Local artists whose work represents an extension of theideas are invited to join the initiative. Some of their works will travel to the next exhibit in the following city. The idea is to create a wave of abstract art that operates autonomously and that perhaps intrinsically illuminates the current state of abstract art.
A substantial element of meaning is locked within the act of making a painting. It is only while painting that the truth reveals itself, that truth being in our cases, the physical presence of abstraction. The canvas is not a window but a background for a painterly construction. The act of painting itself coincides with workings of the conscious and unconscious mind as we, the painters, try to sublimate our consciousness onto canvas. In his Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty describes a dynamic observation. One sees and experiences because one maneuvers through and is at the same time spectator in his or her own environment. And that is the way that we paint, physically, disappearing in the metaphysical space of the canvas – assimilated into the painting and at the same time directing that space with a brush.
The Act of Painting is a dynamic and expanding project that promotes collaborations between artists, curators, theorists and public. Through these shows, discussions, presentations, interviews, essays and publications, the collective attempts to permeate the core of contemporary abstract painting. The project strives to nuance and define more closely the meaning of painting. What is the relationship between the Abstract Expressionism of the 1950’s and the wild painting of the 1980’s? And how is the collective taking these movements a step further? What influence do the new technological and scientific developments have on consciousness