Thursday, November 8, 2007

Spanish Influence: Kees Salentijn

Kees Salentijn (Amsterdam, 1947) received his training on scholarship at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam where DB Kat was his most important teacher. Salentijn traveled to study paintings in the Prado in Madrid and he stayed a few months with the Berber family in Morocco. During the mid-70s, Kees traveled to Greece. In 1977 he and painter Kenne Gregoire created “The Asparagus Eaters” in Venray. Also during this year, he received a commission for a mural in the city office at Venlo. In the eighties Salentijn traveled to Spain. During this period, he associated with artists of various currents and became an advocate for the spontaneous, unconscious creativity that is not primarily a pursuit of aesthetic depiction. A large exhibition of work created during this Spanish trip was mounted in 1983. It can be categoried as “Extremadura”, a show of paintings, collages and drawings. In 1984 Salentijn resided in Barcelona and traveled through the Pyrenees and Catalonia He visited the artist Antoni Tapies and has also expressed interest in other Spanish painters like Saura and Millares. The death of the matador Paguiri is the reason for Salentijn for its first bullfighting - (corrida) paintings. This theme was continued and in 1985 he exhibited a number of works on paper under the heading "Les folies d'Espagne" in Amsterdam. For Kees, the bullfighting "is a metaphor for the struggle to become the painting”. In the late eighties Salentijn visited the excavations in Ampurias, a Greek / Roman settlement in Spain. The experience inspired his work. At this time, he traveled between his studio in Venlo and various studios of friends in Amsterdam. Starting in the 1990s, Kees became involved in a workshop in the neighborhood of the capital. This started a period of rapid creation. Collage, drawing and painting continue the expression of his creativity.

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