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Berend Boorsma, Artist


About me

I work as an individual, outside convention or trend. When I paint, I try to be free of - a priori - ideas and try to tap into my own experience of life and nature that lives within me, and is expressed by the shapes and colors, that are manifested on canvas. For me, every painting I do is a (spiritual) journey… It is my sincere belief in a deeper universal visual language or truth, that inspires me to draw or paint. I try to commit to “pure painting” – painting which has detached itself from the world of objects or ideas and explores endless possibilities. Enigmatic configurations in my paintings resemble either semi-abstract geometric objects that are subtly folded or stacked, or graphic elements, in the manner of calligraphy, or concentrated areas of colour, circles and patterns, resembling indistinct figures and reminiscent in visual language to that of symbolist, cubists and expressionists painters such as Fernand Léger, Paul Klee and V.S. Gaitonde. 
I think about art in synaesthetic terms, as a form of expression that could resemble a musical piece by turning away from the objective world. By practicing Win Chun kungfu and Tai Chi, I strive towards a a meditative disposition, which allowed me to consider painting as a spiritual journey, exploring the limits of perception by playing with visibility and invisibility in painting. In terms of my working method, I prefer to use oil-paint, building up the surface of my canvas in a very physical way and taking extensive time for each piece.


Born in Vlaardingen and educated in Maastricht,  I studied traditional techniques and modern European masters, such as Kandinsky, Klee, Picasso and Matisse. A mixture of influences and styles is evident in my work: the paintings done in the 50s reveal the strong influence of Paul Klee, with their distinct figures against an abstract background; and the ones created in the 60s and thereafter eschew the elements of figuration, leaving colour combinations and the flatness of the canvas to communicate with the viewer.

photo: Roman Jans

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