Hans de Wit
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Arjan Reinders -
Text in Artmagazine “Kunstbeeld” 2004
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Quite striking in Hans de Wit’s work is a smouldering intensity, a kind of “fullness” both in shapes and images; in a sense his work has many layers of meaning. This was already clear in the paintings he made during the eighties. In his huge canvases of that time hardly any space was left untouched by paint.
De Wit applied thick layers of paint in mostly dark colours, many browns and greens and black, smeared over and in juxtaposition to each other, which produced enigmatic and rather complex pictures. The images were mysterious and hard to define, entanglements rather of all kinds of elements, shapes and spaces, distant objects, others tantalisingly near and fractions of
recognizable imagery. Abstract shapes and motifs went hand in hand with suggestions of significant images such as keys or mountaintops. The associative, serious titles of those paintings, most of the time in English, e.g. “Sediment yield and sediment load “or “Granilation and limb darkening “didn’t offer the spectator much to go by, rather an abundance of possibilities to dwell upon, especially for those looking for meaning in paintings. This was all of course in touch with the intra-textual, post-modern spirit of that era.
De Wit’s drawings, to which he tends to focus more and more, have the very same intensity and poly-interpretability. His big drawings show an imaginative world which seems to be hidden behind our common visible one, another dimension so to speak.
The background is always a screen negative, a sort of aide on which he draws spectacular architectural blue-prints, organic meandering tree-branches, the odd sphere and rudimentary sketched animals and humanoids in an accurate, technological style.
One such drawing takes a month to be produced and that shows.
The meaning of these horn of plenty-like drawings remains an enigma. They remind us of dream-images, subconscious figments of a tormented imagination rid of all innocence and quite unnerving. These compositions in which all kinds of things are suspended in mid-air or seemingly floating at zero-gravity echo the works of the surrealists and those of Max Ernst in particular.
They are in no way naïve or fairy-tale like fantasy-worlds. Sooner these complex-looking Visions bring the Apocalypse to mind. This impression is strengthened by intriguing combinations of physical and artificial principles, but alchemy and mysticism also claim their part.

Translated by Ad van Rijswijk