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up to and including 26 May 2019

Co Westerik - Everyday Wonder

Dutch artist Jacobus (Co) Westerik (1924-2018) meticulously reflects on what is unconsciously observed. He enlarges reality, vibrantly depicting the minutiae of everyday experiences by playing with the boundaries of perception.

On 10 September 2018, Co Westerik passed away in Rotterdam at the age of 94 years.With the exhibition 'Co Westerik - Everyday Wonder', Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will bring a homage to the artist with a small retrospective of works selected from his extraordinary oeuvre. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has often featured the work of Co Westerik; the last time was in 2014 to mark his 90th birthday and a publication about his oeuvre.

50 works of art

The exhibition 'Daily Wonder' presents Westerik’s fascinating approach in a selection of paintings, drawings, prints, journals and preparatory materials, some never exhibited before. ‘Everyday Wonder’ consists of 50 works by Co Westerik, including paintings, drawings, prints and videos. Twenty of these works are from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; the other works are from the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, as well as from private collections and the collection of the artist himself (via the Co Westerik Foundation).

Different interactions with the techniques are clearly discernible: intuitiveness in the drawings and more diligence in the paintings, although these retain a vital quality, magnified by the use of thin brush strokes. The exhibition shows the multifaceted modes of expression used by this remarkable artist.

Co Westerik

Co Westerik was born on 2 March 1924 in The Hague, where he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KABK). From 1971 he worked from Rotterdam and the south of France. Westerik is primarily known as a painter, but he has also produced plenty of drawings: his works in pen, pencil, crayon, watercolour and India ink were produced with a speed and lightness that distinguishes the drawings from his paintings. The latter consist of layers of paint that were applied with meticulous care, so they were produced extremely slowly.

Photo: Nico Naeff, 1952
Photo: Nico Naeff, 1952
Photo: Mart Boudestein, 2017
Photo: Mart Boudestein, 2017

Journals

Throughout his life Co Westerik constantly kept personal journals that unveil his meticulous nature and commitment to documenting his life in a thoroughly detailed manner. Nine journals are on view here for the first time. They bear witness to the unfolding of his creative process, his ‘technical experiments’ and the preparation of materials and paints. We can follow his deliberations on composition and choice of subject, not least his will to experiment with different mediums. By way of documenting this development through language and drawings, his vision comes to life, shedding light on his commitment to represent the human form. They give us a precious insight into the daily satisfactions and displeasures of this exceptional character.