THINKING OF HOLLAND
DISCOVER RUUD VERKERK
Ideally Ruud Verkerk paints (1957) Still Life, though we also find landscapes in his work. Simple objects are depicted on the panel. Enamel kitchen utensils stand next to a bowl with pomegranates or a box with pears, a single tulip is set in a alomstwhite surface or brown-white veined shells lying on a white cloth against a soft ocher yellow background. The show is always centered in the middle by Ruud Verkerk, in an indefinable space. Sometimes the composition is compact and forms a closed whole: sometimes whimsical pumpkin branches or flowers in a vase fan out in all directions and form a fine pattern of patches. The background is usually light in color and left undeveloped. The objects are presented in detail, every vein in the leaf and shine light on the fruit is visible.
Sometimes Ruud Verkerk combines the genres of still life and landscape and places a still life against the background of a landscape. They are Dutch vistas with his typical low skies, plains and distant horizon. The Dutch in his pictures is also reflected in his love for the tulip. Ruud Verkerk uses this flower, which he elaborates in detail, in his still lifes because of its simple, compact shape.
Ruud Verkerk preferes still life because in this genre he can fully concentrate on the painting itself. It does not tell a story, it only shows what is there. He can arrange the objects into a composition as he wishes. Here he can quietly look for a balance between the objects and their environment, between shape and color and for the right contrast effect. Shape and color of the objects are more important than its meaning. Thus he combines shells with a poppy flower in a glass of water for compositional and aesthetic reasons and not because the objects have something to do with each other.
Ruud Verkerk studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.