Bonies in the Art Museum (2021)

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Mar 27 2022

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Category: Europe, Netherlands

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(Nota bene: After Autumn Sonata, the first weekly post on my blog almost ten years ago, today’s post happens to be number 500. And I’m still there to continue!)

The ‘Kunstmuseum’ (Art Museum) in The Hague, the GEM of Berlage, is a piece of art in itself. I think it is the most beautiful museum building in The Netherlands. And in addition, it houses a large collection of works by Mondrian and other artists of the modernist art movement ‘De Stijl’, which makes it a true temple of neo-plasticist art.

In the summer of 2021 the museum presented a special exhibition of Bob Bonies, an artist born and living in The Hague, who’s work clearly shows the influence of Mondrian and ‘De Stijl’. And so the ‘Kunstmuseum’ was the appropriate place to see – and in my case discover – the abstract paintings of Bonies of the last 60 years.

Since the beginning of the 1960s Bonies has made shaped canvases: abstract works of canvases joined together and painted with monochrome red, blue and sometimes also yellow and green on parts of the plain white canvases. The canvases with their areas of colour joined together constitute the art works. All his works are starting from this basic principle. Put up as objects slightly in front of the white museum walls, they are indicated with no other title than ‘Acryl on canvas’ and the year they were made. See for instance the paintings on the two photos below: one relatively early work made in 1968 and the other more recently in 2017. Examples of sixty years of persevering constancy!

Bob Bonies, Acryl on canvas 1968
The artist Bob Bonies, with: Acryl on canvas 2017

Had I been allowed to choose one of the works at the exhibition it would have been the one below.

Bob Bonies, Acryl on canvas 2017

Photos of the week: Kunstmuseum, Bob Bonies Exhibition, Den Haag, Netherlands 2021

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