Constructing and deconstructing Time and Space

Dutch artist Bas Zoontjens seems to speak of an unknown dimension, that which humans cannot think of. Something that is neither in the realm of time or space.


Contemporary art has been marked with the synthesis of various forms of art. Especially, the combination of film, sound, digital art, acrylic, oil and collage have resulted in an almost new form of art. However, it sometimes is also possible to replicate profound synthesis by just using the canvas and paint. The canvas can be used to project ideas that do not belong to the present, the past or the future, but to project thoughts that are not bound by the confinements of time and space.

Bas Zoontjens is one such artist who creates spectacular effects on the canvas without using a lot of technology. The simplicity of his techniques is contrasted with the images and ideas that go with his painting. A look at his paintings takes the viewer on a journey through space, time and a dimension that humans still have to learn of. Bas is a Dutch artist who shuttles between Rotterdam and Berlin. After having graduated from the Royal Academy of Art & Design and the Grafic Lyceum Eindhoven, he received several stipends and grants from many Dutch institutions.

He has exhibited his works on several occasions. Some of them include at the Art 88 Galery, Nuenen in 2001, “Tranceformation” Noname Galery, Rotterdam in 2002, “Hello from the enemy airship” Cokkie Snoei Galery, Rotterdam and “Planet of the Planets” Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin in 2007. Apart from these solo exhibitions, he has taken part in several group exhibitions internationally.

In a pensive mood, one can see an image of an alien invasion, or an intergalactic war taking place. Most of the paintings seem to be connected with each other, bringing a sort of synthesis in a state of defragmentation. Bas uses bright colours in order to set the differences between time, space and the unknown third. Like in a science fiction movie, the paintings seem to reveal the story of mankind which is caught in an eternal conflict between the destroyer and the destroyed. If one continues to ponder upon the paintings even more deeply, there really isn’t much in the paintings for the human race.

Surprisingly many of his paintings hide a malevolence and raw energy in an unreal representation of images. Perhaps this malevolence is something unimaginable to the human mind, and indicates an uncertain future for the human race. The fate of humankind is almost impossible to know, and one of the possibilities is the extinction of species due to an unimaginable catastrophe from the outer space.

Bas’ art almost takes the viewer to a different universe and a different reality, where one’s own world and subjective reality may seem unreal and out of place. Bas Zoontjens’ current exhibition is titled Constructing in reverse and is on at the Cokkie Snoei Gallery till the 8th of February, 2009. Exploring unearthly geometric shapes, Bas seems to experiment between the coherent and the incoherent, while playfully constructing shapes and deconstructing them at the same time, which for the viewer may be as confusing as an intergalactic equation.



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