Surreal Hans de Wit drawings receive UK premiere at Isis Gallery

By Graham Pembrey | 08 January 2010
an abstract drawing by hans de wit

(Above) Pencil Poem #8 (2009), pastel and charcoal on paper. © Hans de Wit

Exhibition: Hans de Wit, Isis Gallery, London, January 9 – February 6 2010

The otherworldly drawings of Dutch artist Hans de Wit are about to go on display in the UK for the first time.

Taking viewers to a place where physical forms such as plants, trees and buildings meet abstract patterns, the drawings on show at the exhibition, called World Without End, give an insight into the dark depths of de Wit's imagination and explore what he calls the "beautiful contradiction" between nature and the man-made world.

an abstract drawing by hans de wit

Ahab (2009), astel and pencil on paper. © Hans de Wit

His is a fascination with "the conflict between nature and the creation of humans," whereby they both help and hinder each other.

A good metaphor for his work, he suggests, is the feeling one might get when standing on a harbour, glancing at the gap between the dock and a ship - examining the space between manmade and natural areas.

De Wit was born in 1952 and moved from painting to drawing in an attempt to achieve a figurative clarity he found difficult to capture using oil paints.

"I used to make ambiguous drawings, but I decided I wanted to combine them into a more focused form," he recalls.

an abstract drawing by hans de wit

Pencil Poem #7 (2009), pastel and charcoal on paper. © Hans de Wit

Since exchanging brushes for pens, he has steadily built up a major body of work that has been exhibited and widely collected in his home country.

His artworks have also been shown in various European cities, but the Isis gallery will be the first British space to exhibit his drawings.

Open 12pm-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Isis Gallery, Charlotte Road, London. Visit the Gallery online for more.

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