World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces – 135, Gerda van Bockxmeer
The artwork of Gerda van Bockxmeer is inspired by the luster of the northern landscape: the light, the colors and the movement in the sky and the water. She uses wood, glass and aluminum unconventionally. The work is of great clarity with a strong suggestion of space.
I speak Gerda van Bockxmeer at the exhibition 'De Vrije Hand' in the MLB gallery. There are works of five artists from the artgroup 'The Independents' (‘De Onafhankelijken’), including that of Gerda.
The fact that space, light, color and landscape are so present can be related to her person, she says. "I like to sketch in nature. I'm continuing it in my studio." The horizon is important. "It's basically a straight line. It's what you see above and below: air and land, air and water. There is reflection. There arise forms, a cloud form above the land."
Gerda, however, does not live in nature, she lives in the center of the city. But in mind she is at the land and the landscape. "The horizon is also a desire, a desire for the far ending point." She actually puts it in action, by travelling. "I always go to the north. It starts in Waterland, the Netherlands. And I went a lot to Vlieland and Scandinavia, especially Norway. Norway is fascinating. Especially the space draws me. Everything is huge and spacious. At the same time, you have the idea that that world is yours. You feel taken into space. It gets a part of yourself."
Every year she goes there again, in winter. "Knut Hamsun wrote around 1900 beautifully about the landscapes, the spring, when the snow melts and turns into water streams."
Does Gerda have a key work, a work that served as a turning point? She has not, but she can observe a slow change. "My work has become different if you compare it with my older work. There is a constant: the colors and subjects, you see that it was made by the same person, but it is different."
In the past she made many watercolors, she does not do it anymore. She also worked a lot in mixed technique, cutting a shape, a template. That shape she rolled in with ink and then pressed it down with a press. "I did that for a long time. At a certain moment, now four years ago, I had such a shape in my hand and I thought, "How funny, that shape is enough in itself."
She started working with the cut-out shapes. Initially it was cardboard, later metal, aluminum and wood. She has made many cardboard series and then series in wood. That's less vulnerable material, she is currently working on a work of 1.20 x 1.50 m.
Gerda van Bockxmeer followed the Rietveld Academy from 1967 to 1972. She captured the acta MO A and MO B. She was drawing from a young age. Once in the Academy she was in her element. "All the people around you are busy with their artwork. That stimulates, that is an important aspect of the education. It matters what you do, you realize. You get very fond of that. You're in the world you've always wanted to be in. By the way, we hardly used the term artist, nobody said that of himself."
She has always combined art with teaching. That also stimulates her in her work. "Without teaching, I could never do my work as well, but without my own work I would never have been teaching with so much pleasure. If you teach, you approach the visual arts in a different way. I'm always busy with it, even in bed. It's the most important thing in my life, outside of my family."
Finally, does she have a philosophical conclusion? "My work is always about openness. It's also my way of communicating with others."
1) Blue thistle, 2) whiffle alga, 3) Espedalen, 4) Fuglesongen, 5) Gerda at Espedalen, 6) Green-lined, 7) Jondalen, 8) Kinselmeer, 9) Liefdefjord, 10) Spitsbergen, 11) Seen out of the train, 12) Virgohamna, 13) Vlieland, 14) Watergreen