Evert van Hemert *1952


Evert van Hemert was born on 12th April, 1952 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. After his school time, the young artist earned his living with work in the advertising industry. He dismissed studying art at the academy in Amsterdam in favour of his own, and independent and autonomous vocational training and career.

Van Hemert is an individualist and autodidact – as a human being, as well as an artist. As such, he has succeeded in establishing himself firmly on the art market. Today, he lives and works in secluded existence in his house in a small, idyllic place in the Netherlands. Van Hemert is a universal artist in an absolute sense: he is sculptor, painter and, in the final analysis, an artist of life. He is humorous, sincere, hospitable, and animal loving. One can laugh with him, but also philosophize for hours on end, and in serious debate, on life and art. These attributes – a perhaps overt humour and a definitely meaningful philosophy of life – are features also of his works. As painter, as well as a sculptor, van Hemert’s works are authentic, individual and ambitious. The forms are those of a single hand, but the so very different media employed have so very different effects on the recipient.

For him, the sculptural creativity is a continuation of painting. The two-dimensional surface of the canvas or of paper burst open in favour of a space filling composition of a sculptural effect. Van Hemert’s figures, whether of men or animals, beg to be “understood”. The voluptuous, voluminous forms lure and impress with their strong presence. The play with distorted proportions generates exciting elements of composition and, not infrequently, makes the viewer and beholder smile with amusement. Van Hemert’s sculptures are symbiotic unities of opposites, theses and antithesis brought face to face: mass versus lightness, dynamics versus statics, corporeality versus spirituality, gentleness versus strength. Philosophically seen, a plea for completeness, for a harmonious unity.

The artist prefers to work with bronze. In a specially developed technique of patination, the works receive their very own character: in their mostly deep dark colour they have an almost archaic effect. Seen from the distance as a complete, conceivable object, viewed closely, numerous details become obvious: humoristic loveliness, fine facial features, smallest nuances in surface treatment. These refinements prove, and are evidence of how the artist works on his objects with all his energy and commitment. Van Hemert is fully aware of his “duty of care” as an artist. For this reasons, the entire processing, not only of the wax models, but also of the cast blanks, is by his own hand which, as a consequence, accounts for the so very limited number of his sculptures, which for this reason are favourite collectors’ pieces. The high quality of the technique and the extravagant forms, combined with a healthy portion of humour, are responsible for the uniqueness of the objects. They sparkle with self-confidence and cheerfulness, they simply are lovable.

These features of the sculptures are also found in van Hemert’s pictures. The female figures, almost always of one and the same type, appear as voluminous and as present as his sculptures, although they are imprisoned in the two-dimensional surface: they are self-confident and cheeky. They are not mere portraits, each and every one of van Hemert’s ladies is his very own “grande dame”, and in their various appearances are the artist’s declaration of love to womanliness and life. And yet, and as a contrast, there are his totally different paintings: restrained and gentle, they present to the viewer restful and dreamy landscapes which invite you to stay, and fascinate you with the harmony of colours.