Saturday, November 16, 2013

Guus Kemp, a Painter's Painter and his abstract expressionism

J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, Boerne is Proud to make available the artwork of Guus Kemp (Netherlands/ Houston)!!!

(Here is an excerpt written a few years ago by Gallery Director, Gabriel Diego Delgado -- describing Guus's work)

Guus Kemp
Abstract Expressionism and a Painter’s Painter

By: Gabriel Diego Delgado
J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, Boerne
(Appeared in La Prensa Newspaper May 15, 2011)

Clement Greenberg, the infamous Abstract Art Critic once said, “Abstract Expressionism was the epitome of aesthetic value”, a reference to the heyday of abstract art in the 1950’s-60.  Clement’s analytical approach and critique of a Post-World War II American based art movement became the basis for many artists as they rallied around this more ‘pure’ art making process. He was more interested in the artist’s physical mark making on a flat two dimensional canvas; something being explored by the likes of second generation and post Abstract Expressionist painters like - Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, Norman Bluhm, and many many others.

Fast forward fifty years, holding true to these sophisticated thoughts of pure emotion, abstraction, color rhythm and movement; and you have the contemporary painters following in the footsteps of these great masters.  Guus Kemp is undoubtedly one of those painters. 

An artist whose art career highlights and stoically denotes a visual reference to all the tangible and exceptionally grandeur theories of Abstract Expressionism, Guus allows himself a “painterly” freedom of color exploration coupled with a highly intense paint overlay technique. Multiple layers of dense color collide on the canvas, vibrantly fleeting for spatial ownership of any and all space on the large scale abstractions.  Evident is the artist’s hand and fluid body movements that create such lines, mark making, and gestural punches.  These overall composition paintings often include striking streaks of thick impasto-esque oil paint traversing over each other, creating skewed cadences of deliberate nonlinear arrangements.  Moreover, his understanding of color theory is articulately displayed with an often self-restricted color pallet, making for vibrant edges- yellows to blues and reds to greens. In a multitude of his paintings, Guus uses a sweeping gesture of profuse paint, exploding over the canvases, with a possible and hypothetical allusion to a botanical reference or self-guided cosmic inference.

In many of Guus Kemp’s Abstract Expressionistic paintings your eye inevitably follows a gestural movement of a particular color, however, his calculating use of pallet knife helps to carve out hard edged paint slices in an otherwise fluid color composition applique. With an overall color conformation, one cannot help but reflect on the abstract artist predecessors like Pollock, de Kooning and Twombly when viewing Guus’s paintings.  His admirable and diligent ascension into Abstract Expressionism has helped propel him into an esteemed artistic genre; one held in high reverence by many art scholars and painters alike.  

Understanding how and when to make the gestural mark and the manipulation of paint as a medium is something intuitive in this abstract thought process.  Visually evident is Guus’s innate ability to impregnate his canvas with organic shapes of greens and blues, systematically embodied in an overall composition made up of an array of red and yellow explosions.  His dignified abstract manipulation uses color and paint as a visual bout between the artist’s vision and the creation itself; each volleying for supreme command.  Embodying the Greenburg-ian notion of “Artist as Shaman”, Guus plays the role of spiritual visionary, drawing the audience into a world unlike their own;  one of color as a belief, faith or creed- channeled by actions, reactions, manipulations, cuts, curves, punches, evocations, and visual linguistics; each one bringing with it renowned sense of painterly expertise.

 Often quoting his early exposure to European artists in the 1960’s-70, Guus’s insistence of this timely introduction shaped his artistic career.  His unique style indicates an indulgence of an American born Art Movement {Abstract Expressionism}- one of dynamic color, explosive gestures and momentous scale. 

©Gabriel Diego Delgado

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