a year black and white

After years of painting with primary colours, excluding earth colours, greys and very much the black, a shift happened to my perception of colour. Right after a series of paintings where colour had comfortably found its place, I saw that I did not need it anymore for showing the intensity of life as I perceived it. Black and white replaced then colour in my paintings with no loss of the actual feel of colour. To my eyes, colour was there; the black and white contained it effectively. The work produced in that time had achieved the happy form of being what it aimed to show. It was created in the intensity that it narrated, one canvas per day (of approx. 200x160cm), or 2-3 papers, approx. four hours of sleep, no life other than in painting.

A year black and white (1998-1999) would be the title of an exhibition and of a book that I wanted to make. In the end, the total of this work was never shown all together. A part was exhibited under the NOT FOR SALE project of the gaidaro group, another part at the Regentenkamer in The Hague. There was a proposal to show it in Brussels but I did not persevere, thus it never happened. It was interesting that some thought of it as a disaster in my path; others put it in the all time favourites. For me it is always a reference point.

Colour came back to my work later, under new conditions (to be explained later).

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