Reviews

On the work

Reflections

Palet
Palet

‘Take your time and have a good look.’ That is what I like to say as an introduction to the work of Frank Dekkers. Amaze yourself by the paint brought up like a whirling wind, about the monumental spaces stretching out to the horizon and the movement that seems to have taken the landscapes in its grip.
The space with its indefinably huge proportions has been caught in these works of art. Make yourself at ease and have a long look at a work of your choice to discover that these paintings are not static pictures but reflections of the outside world that, although captured, still seem to be moving.

Rimme Rypkema
(from: Frank Dekkers, schilderijen en houtsneden)


Essentials

In the mountains
Working in the Beaufortain, France

The artwork by Frank Dekkers is elementary in a beautiful way. Therefore it is immediately recognisable and unique. He reduces landscape to its essence. He paints like a way of breathing, something essential. Landscape becomes horizon, the profile of trees, sky, relief, soil and water. Frank would not even think to paint all the leaves on a tree like Ruysdaal. A tree is an object that stands before the sky. The same tree can be painted thirty times and still look different each time. Sometimes his work becomes almost abstract, leaving the spectator to contemplate the rest. The suggestion is there, but needs to be completed.

The light changes, dawn seen above the river Lek, fog slowly rising above a meadow near Langbroek, snow threatens to fall above the Bergensemeer, the melting of snow in the Bergensbos, on the other side of the river the cold March rain is falling. Frank senses the weather. The movement of his brush captures the movement of time. The endless waves of the tide are shown this way. As soon as the sun appears on his panel, time is frozen. The movement has been caught.

It is all about the landscape as a way of experiencing the world and it must be brought back to its bare essentials. Woman passing: Ah, you’ve just started? Frank Dekkers: Sorry Madame, I’ve just finished!

Andre Droogers (from the speech held at the opening of the exhibit at gallery De Garage, Bergen, 1998)


Atmosphere

Etching press
Etching press

It is mostly landscapes that Frank paints: rivers, bogs, woods painted firmly in broad brushwork. Sometimes their subject is ‘transition’: a landscape crossed by a river, a woodland, or at the turning point of day and night in morning- or evening light. It makes the images become melancholic or filled with tension, even when the colours are bright. On the one hand, the landscapes are tactile and visual, on the other, although the sense of nature is earthy and present, there is a suggestion of atmosphere that is hard to define but remains dominant.

Akke Schutte (from: Frank Dekkers, landschappen)


Conditions

By the river

One can hardly understand how someone is able to work intensively in such terrible conditions and feel quit happy doing so. Freezing cold, pouring rain, the wind throwing over his easel and nasty peasants, always claiming their properties. Anyways, they face the same destiny as the earlier Academy’s teachers: none of them will stop Frank.

Jeroen Hermkens (extract of the openingspeech at the Rosa Spier Huis, Laren, 2004)


Size

Lithographic press
Lithographic press
 

There is no doubt that Dekkers’ graphic work (like his paintings) shows an expressionistic impact. A woodland scene in flaming red and orange set, takes away all doubt, as the scorching yellow of a romantic sunset or a collection of black tree silhouettes. Dekkers can not be carried away by sweet scenes and lush colors. The monumentality of the landscape is not related to the large format but has to do with the ability to use limited resources to put down a powerful image.

Wim van der Beek (Zwolsche Courant, 28-01-2002)