Miss Saigon, 1996
Mixed media on paper
15 x 23 in.
KEES SALENTIJN (Dutch, b. 1947)
Kees Salentijn is among The Netherlands’ most prominent painters. The initial inspiration leading to his mature style came from post-war American art, including Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Tom Wesselman, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, and above all Dutchman Willem de Kooning. It also came from Spanish painters such as Antoni Tapies, Antonio Saura, and later Manalo Millares. Salentijn developed a personal style that combined the expressionist, painterly swat with smaller but equally expressionist marks that are quick and slightly nervous but sure. Salentijn, wrote Leo Duppen, the former director of The Netherlands’ CoBrA Museum, draws like a painter and paints like a draftsman. Combining vigorous painting with often-childlike imagery, Salentijn’s work eventually placed him in the Northern European, post-war CoBrA tradition of strongly expressionist, abstracted art that contained representational elements. Salentijn’s increased use of figuration in the 1990s confirmed this link. His work is in several European museums. In addition to the 1982 Chicago Art Fair, his work has been represented at major European art fairs, including Art Fair Basel, TEFAF Maastricht, Kunstmesse Cologne and KunstRAI Amsterdam.