About the artist
"I photograph things I don't want to paint and I paint things I can't photograph"
Robbert Fortgens (1960) was born in Utrecht and after graduating from secondary school he studied for a few years at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Fortgens lives and works in Antwerp and exhibits in various European countries and in the United States.
In his early oeuvre Fortgens was initially strongly attracted to photographic realistic fine painting and it was the Israeli painter Meir Salomon (1947) in particular who taught him this technique. However, his artistic attitude takes a major turn when he sees the work of the Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) at an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1988. d
Kooning's surrender to painting itself, in which he strives for a highly personal and therefore subjective representation of what lives in him and during this painting process makes a direct connection with the material and the color of the paint, is at odds with Fortgens' meticulous painting method. realistic canvases and from that year onwards his works show large abstract expressionist compositions that bear little resemblance to the figurative work from before. He is now guided by the spontaneous painter's gesture that seems to arise from an emptied mind. Images force themselves on him, like a residue of acquired visual impressions.