Artist 2023: Jan Kuhlemeier

The John & Marine van Vlissingen Art Foundation helps bring to light the work of a young, new generation of talented Dutch artists. Each year, the selected artist is given the opportunity to carry out an inspirational journey of their choice, collecting sights and experiences that will influence new works. The journey, and resulting works, are recorded and reflected in a book and exhibition. This year, the Foundation’s choice is visual artist Jan Kuhlemeier (1993). Fascinated by nature untouched, and the colors present therein, he will travel to Indonesia this spring. His new works will be exhibited in the Museum Singer Laren starting November 14, 2023.

Jan Kuhlemeier: Layers of Translucent Color, Shades, and Nuances.

Jan Kuhlemeier uses translucent colors in his works. Herein, he searches for specific tints and color nuances. He views this aspect of the painterly artform as a means to explore the boundary between painting and other media. On the choice of Jan Kuhlemeier, Jop Ubbens, a board member of the Foundation: “Jan Kuhlemeier’s work particularly appeals to me because of its aesthetic component and the directly attractive feeling his work evokes in me. His research into pigmentation and materials strikes me as well thought out. Additionally, he has a well-founded story about his artistic process. He reflects, thinks and develops himself. Kuhlemeier is, in my opinion, a neo-romantic. He plays with movement, feeling, and dynamics in combination with the elements and does so in an infectious way.”

Inspiration Journey to Indonesia: Contrasting Greens and Clear Blues of the Natural World.

This spring, the artist will venture to Indonesia in search of inspiration to influence new works. His works, composed of tones and layers reminiscent of the hues present in the reflection of seas and oceans, are indicative of sights Jan Kuhlemeier, as an avid surfer, has seen in various places throughout the world. Kuhlemeier: ‘Indonesia fascinates me with its contrasting greens and clear blue waters.” He wants to visit various islands in Indonesia—the Mentawai islands in particular. This is a chain of no less than 70 islands west of Sumatra. “Here you will find untouched jungles, clear blue water and even uninhabited islands,” explains Jan Kuhlemeier.

A Step Outside the Modern World

The plethora of reefs and beaches in Indonesia lends itself to the presence of a variety of colors and transparencies in the waters. The difference in depths results in the varying colors of water. The deeper the sea, the darker the color. “And there are very few people on the Mentawai islands, so I can literally, and figuratively, immerse myself in nature and take a step outside of the modern world,” adds Jan Kuhlemeier.

Curious about Jan Kuhlemeier’s journey and his new sources of inspiration? Follow him on Instagram via @vanvlissingenartfoundation.

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