Hendrik Kolenberg

Painting by Hendrik Kolenberg. LNG storage tanks,Maasvlakte, Rotterdam 2015

April 8th- May 1st

To be opened by Elizabeth Cross, Art historian and Artist. April 8th 6-8.30pm
Limited numbers: contact us for your invitation. gallery@alexandrasasse.com

 Gallery Hours: Tues, Weds, Sat 11-4pm.

4 Selbourne Rd Kew, Victoria 3101 (03) 98152447

Born in Rotterdam in 1946, Kolenberg moved to Adelaide with his parents at the age of 6. A lifetime immersed in art has taken him across the globe, working and studying in London and the Netherlands (with a scholarship to study 19th century Dutch art) as a young man.

In every city in which Kolenberg has lived, architectural forms and the interplay of reflected light have fascinated him. He describes walking about town as an obsession and many of his compositions are seen from street level. Kolenberg reads the landscape differently from many other artists. Closely cropped, built forms occupy his entire pictorial space. This is landscape almost without sky, horizon or even land. Depth of field is reduced to the space of urban life – the end of a street, the blank face of a fence. Everywhere the eye is brought up short by the man-made. Somehow, in all of that, Kolenberg lets us breathe.

These essentially humble motifs of houses, rooftops, bins, and even air-conditioning ducts are transformed through a complex process of observation, drawing, and oil on paper studies before arriving at a composition. Working in a high key, with oil paint on a gesso ground the final result has an affinity to fresco, with its attention to surface, texture and opaque colour. This orchestration of subject, surface and design returns our own surroundings to us transformed. Kolenberg’s art constructs a visual harmony, full of air and light, from motifs that most of us would unerringly overlook.

Kolenberg’s work has been collected by NGA, Canberra, State Library of NSW, TMAG, Hobart; Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Orange Regional Gallery and the University of Technology, Sydney. For over twenty years, he held the position of Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours at the Art Gallery of NSW.

We are delighted to launch his first ever exhibition in Melbourne.

Hendrik Kolenberg painting "Old House Blaxland Road, Eastwood."
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Kolenberg is drawn to ugliness, grime and industrial areas. So his paintings naturally don’t depict sentimental or pretty subjects, rather they convey his fascination with the overlooked, discarded or functional aspects of the city. For him each is transformed by the intensity and fall of light. Bradley Hammond, Orange Regional Gallery

Unknown areas or streets present as many things of interest as those that are familiar – though it is light, ever varying according to the season, time of day or year – that is the essential ingredient to the pleasure of looking. Noticing something – an arrangement or relationship of parts as highlighted or intensified by a particular play of light or contrast of light, darkness and shape – is what I find most stirring and memorable… The particularity of place or architecture has rarely been my concern, yet something of the intangible individual character of each city in which I have lived, can inadvertently be captured.

Hendrik Kolenberg

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