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Wim Heldens

Wim Heldens was born in Sittard, in the south of the Netherlands, and settled in Amsterdam where he developed as one of the painters who uphold the Dutch realist tradition. Making a living from portrait commissions, Heldens developed this genre as a means to explore the human condition. For a couple of years, New York City became his major focus and he tried to spend as much time there as he possibly could, blending in the American artistic community, where he met American artists like Jack Beal <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Beal> and Charles Bell <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bell>. He painted various portraits in commission, among others for the collector Raymond Saroff <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Raymond_Saroff&action=edit&redlink=1>, who possesses an impressive collection of American native art.

In 1998 his painting “Blue Hair & Braces” was selected for the annual exhibition of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters at The Mall Galleries <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mall_Galleries> in London, winning the Menena Joy Schwab Award; that summer the painting was on show in The National Portrait Gallery <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Portrait_Gallery,_London>. The painting was later purchased by the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, New York, for their permanent collection. His paintings began to find their way into private collections in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, and into collections of the Academic Hospital and the ING Bank <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ING_Bank> in Amsterdam, the Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten in The Hague and the City Council in Sittard. In 2011 Wim Heldens won the prestigious BP Portrait Award of the National Portrait Gallery in London with an introverted portrait of his adopted son. From that moment onwards, his oeuvre found a wider response, and the originality and artistic qualities of his work became more visible.

His artistic development shows a quest for meaning, especially in relationships between people, where he finds the most concrete form of meaning which can exist in life. By depicting scenes from everyday life, he wants to show the universally human in terms of contact and situations, in which we can easily recognize an almost extreme ‘normality’. Here Heldens’ talent for psychological exploration shows itself: the seemingly ‘trivial’ subject is presented in such a way as to expose the deeper meaning of the image, which is often multi-interpretable, depending upon the sensitivity and intelligence of the observer. Often his images show a quasi-frozen moment where people look at something outside the frame, or in a context suggesting exchange, or conflict, or overture; or they are engaged in a mutual symbolic gesture or action. A mentally and emotionally accessible world is created as if the frame is merely a window upon a scene which exists as an autonomous moment, reflecting human life.

In this, Heldens follows the artistic tradition of the Dutch Republic from the 17^th century, when depictions of daily life form a unique corpus of paintings, both realistically representing life as it showed itself to the artist’s eye but in the same time, exposing its expressive meaning. In his art, Heldens is directly following the example of Dutch interior paintings by Pieter de Hoogh, Johannes Vermeer, Gerard ter Borch and others – but translated to the present time, where Heldens’ personal contacts in the USA often furnish the human element. In this effective translation of an old tradition, Heldens shows the possibility of regaining painting as an entirely contemporary art, but rooted in the continuity of mimetic expression of human experience.

Wim Heldens divides his time between Amsterdam and the United States where he keeps a second studio. In recent years he has been experimenting to integrate narrative elements in portraits, finding creative ways to paint portraits in commission, while avoiding the stifling restrictions that traditional portraiture can present.

Music

Music

180 x 200 cm
Oil on canvas,
£29,000

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

All About Scout

All About Scout

90 x 110 cm,
Oil on canvas,
£10,500

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

America

America

140 x 90 cm
Oil on canvas,
£13,500

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

The Joker

The Joker

85 x 100 cm
Oil on canvas,
£9,000

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

The Anarchist

The Anarchist

140 x 90 cm
Oil on canvas,

SOLD

Arm & Hammer

Arm & Hammer

145 x 105 cm
Oil on canvas,
£14,900

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

Tattoo

Tattoo

160 x 135 cm
Oil on canvas,
£17,000

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

The Muse

The Muse

66 x 71 cm
Oil on canvas,
£7,000

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

Ball Game

Ball Game

91,5 x 91,5 cm
Oil on canvas
SOLD

Say Cheese

Say Cheese

100 x 110 cm
Oil on canvas,
£11,500

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

Bicycle

Bicycle

150 x 100 cm
Oil on canvas
SOLD

Ohio Girl

Ohio Girl

117 x 172.5 cm
Oil on canvas,
£16,500

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

Queen of Spuds

Queen of Spuds

150 x 190 cm
Oil on canvas,
£21,000

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

Saint Jeroen

Saint Jeroen

41 x 45 cm
Oil on canvas,
£5,500

To buy this painting or for more information please email: fraser@agallery.co.uk

 
 

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