Rob de Graaf


(*The Hague, 1960) has a fascination for opposites and balance. Man-woman, thinking-acting, conscious-unconscious, heart-matter, geometric-organic, chaos and order, etc. In his work he is searching for balance in opposites. A recurring theme is chaos & order, which he translates into the concepts rhythm & structure. He sees his work primarily as research. Methods, mains and process of painting are important. He is looking for synthesis, unity, balance and harmony in one image.

"When chaos surrounds me, I long for order, when everything is too structured, I need to create chaos again. So chaos and order cannot exist without each other and there is even doubt as to whether chaos really exists. They both are elements in a process that rhythmically and according to fixed patterns encourage movement, change and renewal, leading to an organic and dynamic order while retaining contrasts. My paintings and drawings form the imagination of this process.

Although I work with various different materials, I usually paint with 'ordinary' decorator's paint. This type of paint is slow, and yet it has a more or less fixed form. It flows and carries on running even after the paint has been applied. I hardly use brushes. Not from a sense of principle, but because when I use a brush, I am inclined to give structure to the canvas, sometimes too quickly. I prefer to give 'chaos' a fair chance by pouring or spraying the paint onto the canvas or letting it flow in various different ways. After that I often throw the paint off balance by modelling it using a hairdryer, paint stripper or a gas burner. Under my instructions and within the boundaries I set, the paint then searches rhythmically and in an interrelated way for a new order and a new balance."

Various exhibitions 

  Pulchri Studio, The Hague, 2000 

  Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2001 

  Nepal Art Council, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2001 

  Seasons Galleries, The Hague, 2000 

  Gallery De Compagnie, Dordrecht, 2002 

  Jan van Hoof Gallery, s-Hertogenbosch, 2002 

  Art Twente 2002 (Jan van Hoof Gallery) 

  Seasons Galleries, The Hague, 2002 

  Gallery De Greef en de Greef, Wassenaar, 2004 

  Seasons Galleries, Intervision III, The Hague, 2004

  Jan van Hoof Gallery, Rhythm & Structure,s Hertogenbosch, 2005


  Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands
   painting, drawing, spatial design (1995-2000) 

  Free Academy, workplace for visual arts, The Hague, The Netherlands
    painting (1993-1995) 

  University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
   civil law (1978-1984)


  Winsor & Newton Academy Award, 2000 

  Nomination Buning Brongers Award, 2000

His most recet exhibitions are "Circum Me" July 2003 Droichead Arts Centre, Co.Louth & "The Red Shoes" April 2004 The Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick