Peter Struycken (1939) became well-known in the sixties with geometric-abstract paintings in which form and colour underwent systematic changes. One of the first pioneers, he began to make use of the computer in 1968. Over the years, he has utilized the developments in computer technology to create artworks that have a great visual directness and lyrical power.
The subtitle of the exhibition refers to Struycken’s use of the computer and to his aim of creating a personal and visually rich world that exists parallel to the everyday reality surrounding us. Just like the real world, Struycken’s world is also subject to intrinsic laws, but he concentrates almost entirely on the phenomenon of colour. With the aid of the computer, Struycken formulates the rules that determine which colours will appear in given space and are then submitted to a process of change which, in principle, is not limited by space and time. The more varied and complex the images produced by a certain set of rules, the more contented Struycken is.
Commissioned work – more than a hundred assignments in total – occupies an important place in Struycken’s oeuvre. The Blauwe Golven (Blue Waves) parking lot in Arnhem, the thousands of coloured spheres in Aegon’s head office in The Hague, the colour palette for the interior walls of the Groninger Museum, and the light installation at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam are excellent examples of this work.
In addition, Struycken has also realized many smaller assignments, such as the postage stamp with a portrait of Queen Beatrix in dots, richly varied tapestries, and coloured light programmes for dance performances by contemporary choreographers.
This exhibition focuses primarily on a number of Struycken’s commissioned works. The monumental works can be viewed via large interactive panorama images made by Carel Struycken. In each exhibition room, one commissioned work is generally combined with one or more autonomous works. The interactive panorama images can also be seen at www.sphericalpanoramas.com.
In the Coop Himmelb(l)au pavilion Struycken created a new installation based on a musical composition by Pierre Boulez. This is a dynamic colour imagery for the composition ...explosante fixe... by Pierre Boulez.
To accompany the exhibition, an extensive book on Struycken’s oeuvre has been published in conjunction with NAi Publishers. It comes with a CD-ROM containing the interactive panorama photos.