A Fine Line
By Anne Knipping (Master of Arts)
The attractive works by Ton Dubbeldam approach reality and reach for abstraction. The themes are divers: sometimes we’re shown a sunny little terrace in France, basking in a warm summer light and sometimes the artist takes us to the North Sea, rendered in an icy blue and seen from a typical Holland beach. Dubbeldam guides the viewer on a journey around Europe. Yet the real journey is not a geographical one.
Traveling in Style
Dubbeldam doesn’t adhere to certain styles or schools. In his works he effortlessly combines realism, impressionism, pointillism, luminism and sometimes even a pinch of futurism. In not keeping to a specific style, Dubbeldam is free to experiment with form, colour and light. Playful reflections transform the evening light to a colourful spectacle. Sharp shadows on a town square form an abstract arrangement of lines. White garden furniture is arranged in a pattern that suddenly looks attractive and exciting. Dubbeldam invites you to view the Old World in a new way. This new world with her careful balance between the abstract and the figurative is the destination of over thirty years of experimenting with a wide range of techniques and styles.
Decoration versus figuration
The most important of those techniques is found in the background of all Dubbeldam’s paintings. On a uniformly coloured panel, the artist forms a series of colourful dots and stains. The base of his work is therefore highly decorative and clearly influenced by Gustav Klimt and the nineteenth-century pointillists. Over this base, Dubbeldam adds a tree trunk or, say, the hull of a boat. But beneath this scene, the dots and stains still vie for the viewers’ attention. Take away the trunk and you’re still left with a work of art, be it abstract.
Crossing the Line
Another way to abstraction leads through the artist’s eye for composition. Take, for instance, a depiction of a birch forest, shrouded in colourful leaves. Now remove the leaves and strip the painting of all the figurative details. What remains is the strong horizontal line of the high horizon, balanced by the forceful vertical lines of the tree trunks. The clear compositions in Dubbeldam’s paintings are just as beautiful as the figurative scenes that accompany them.
About the artist
Ton Dubbeldam (1957) was born in the small town of Schoonhoven, into an artistic family. His father was a musician and his grandfather an artist. At the age of twenty one, Dubbeldam completed his education at Academie Minerva in Groningen, followed by a degree in teaching.
Works of Ton Dubbeldam have been acquired by the following business collections:
Holland America Line
About the author:
Anne Knipping studied History of Art at the Rijksuniversiteit in Groningen. With her Master on curatorial studies, she continued to work in several museums and galleries. Knipping wrote several articles on modern and contemporary figurative artists, always with the aim of challenging the reader to dive deeper into the artworks and forming their own opinion on them.