Hans Hartman and Paulus de Groot

Paulus de Groot

An exhibition by Hans Hartman and Paulus de Groot will open at the Callan Park Gallery on Thursday 11 June, 6 to 8pm.

The Atelier Herenplaats in Rotterdam, Holland has produced some strikingly original artists since it began operating in 1991. In part academy and provider of continuing professional support for artists with an intellectual disability, Herenplaats actually resembles nothing, if not an active artists-run community and gallery. Hans Hartman (b.1963) and Paulus de Groot (b.1977) are among the studio’s most prominent painters. Though their work is often large, with Hans in particular having completed a number of architectural decorations, this, their first Australian exhibition, presents a selection of paintings that are more intimate in scale. The strength of their colour and uncompromising imagery belies the works’ modest size, however. Hartman’s works are largely of biblical subjects, which channel a desire to imbue living energy into his practice and to recuperate the threatened Christ. They also reflect his very real connection to past masters. As he has said, for example, ‘Rembrandt and me, we do it together. We take each other over. Then I think about him and he about me, then we are in touch and that is a very special feeling’. Paulus is both painter and poet, taking his subjects from his own life and from the experience of cinema. The exploration of sexuality is a theme that runs strongly through his practice, sometimes revealed quietly and often in forthright, explosive terms. He tells us, ‘I only draw men who are gay. I think gays are important because I love men, naked men’. Hartman and De Groot present here the age-old themes of sex and religion in works that are at once exuberant, direct, and reflective.

Image: Paulus de Groot, 1 Homo BIJ Schiedam, 2007.

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