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In the non-figurative minimalist work of visual artist Kees van de Wal (Oirschot, 1967) we see shapes. On canvas and as a wall object. Sometimes solitary in space, sometimes in relation to each other. Shapes, residual shapes and composite shapes, almost always in a certain tranquility and stillness.

Since the first exhibition in 2008, the work has evolved from abstract landscapes with the theme of stillness into the visual language it is today. After the horizon disappeared from the landscapes, suggestions of clouds and vegetation were further abstracted into independent shapes. These shapes entered into a relationship with each other and with the canvas. By making use of contrasts, both in form and size, brushwork, strength and color, Van de Wal went in search of the right combination of tension and balance. When he was no longer limited by the edges of the canvas, the first wall objects were a fact.

In search of the ultimate shape,
a shape that represents nothing,
but everything says.

The shapes are created while working, here slightly larger, here slightly smaller, this line slightly oblique, this corner slightly rounder. Shapes are combined. Parts are deleted. Looking for the right composition, the right balance. The shapes are not present by chance, they acquire a right to exist and claim their place in the space. In this way, Van de Wal is looking for the ultimate form, a form that represents nothing, but says everything.

In the latest works we see more color and freer forms, assemblages and hatching, influenced by the directness and freedom in drawing and pasting that Van de Wal made in kindergarten around the age of five and six. Read more about that in the story of the envelope.

Since January 2017, Van de Wal has been working in his studio in the historic city center of Zaltbommel. On a regular basis he organizes an open studio to lower the threshold of his studio and to talk about art, his work or the weather. An unique opportunity to see the artist at work and to follow him in his process.


Kees van de Wal
Born in Oirschot, 1967. Lives and works in Zaltbommel.

  • 1983 – 1987: Graphic Lyceum Eindhoven, aesthetic design;
  • 1990 – 2000: various courses: drawing / painting / etching / model drawing;
  • 2009 – 2014: Academy of Fine Arts, Arendonk, Painting, passed with honorable mention;
  • 2014 – 2016: Specialization degree Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Arendonk, passed with a Great distinction.