Niek Hoogenboom

Niek Hoogenboom (Rotterdam, April 12th, 1917 – died Arnhem, October 15th 1997) is, starting at a very young age, drawing and painting in contéchalk, gouches, pendrawings and oilpaintdrawings, fascinated by a big exhibition “Islamathematica” in Rotterdam in 1976, especially by the Arabic and Islamatic ornamental art and colourgradations.

Inspired by the on mathematic calculation- and figureseries of Pascal and Fibonacci and later by the impossible figures of the German Hermann Paulsen, the Dutch M.C. Escher and the orgy of colours and combinations of the Hungarian Victor Vasarely, Niek Hoogenboom decided to start a complete different direction in art. In fact a combination of abovementioned styles, which can be considered as a special form of Pop Art. 

Just showing what has been painted and arranged, symmetrical as well, seems to end up as a very dull composition, however, not at all for Niek Hoogenboom: working with tectonical and a-tectonical compositions does not provide any problem for him.

In nature we see the same phenomenon as for instance with starfishes and cristalstructures and a great number of symmetric molecules do exist, as known in the nuclear physics. Take for granted, that Niek Hoogenboom is very capable and handy in creating figureseries and repeating figures, pictorial elements as dot, flat, line and colour are transformed into symmetrical abstractions in a flat surface.

With colours he knows how to suggest enormous spatial structures, that go far beyond a dull enumeration of regular polygons. Tetrahedrons, cubics, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, icosahedrons, two or more dimensional figures finally undergo in the composition also a subjective change and that is precisely what makes the works of Niek Hoogenboom much more important than being abstract only.

Where the works of Victor Vasarely require distance, the paintings of Niek Hoogenboom ask for a more closer approach, like a magnifying glass, under which one can discover miraculous shapes. He finds a joy in the minute, the preciseness and accuracy and the fascinating colour gradations, a joy that he tries to transmit to others.

In view of a great interest in the Islamatic history and art Niek Hoogenboom made many paintings with the motives and colours especially focussed on this kind of art, as Samarkand turquoise (blue/green) and purple/magenta, flowers and tiles. This can be found at/in many mosques, temples, prayerhouses and palaces in the Middle-East and Southwest Asia.