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(7 maart - 17 april 2016)
Solotentoonstelling nav publieksprijs J.K. Egbertsprijs
Kunstlievend genootschap Pictura, Groningen
St. Walburgstraat 1, Groningen

(6 juni 2015 - 17 januari 2016)
Scherp kijken
Museum MORE, Gorssel

(foto: Jakob van Vliet)

(zomer en najaar 2015)
Lieu d'Art Contemporain, Sigean (nabij Narbonne, FR)
A l'étage: "Marmeren Tafeltje" tussen Penck, Yves Klein, Thomas Huber

(5 maart - eind juni 2015)
Drents Museum, Assen
Zeven landschappen van Barend Blankert ter ere van de opening van een nieuwe zaal in het Drents Museum.

(11 oktober - 15 november 2014)
Mineta Fine Art, Brussel (B)
Nieuw en oud werk van Barend Blankert

Marble bistro table with ukulele (cat. 386) Man in corner (cat. 385) Marble bistro table with turnips (cat.383)

(5 april - 25 mei 2014) In iets gewijzigde opstelling verlengd tot 16 november 2014
Lieu d'Art Contemporain (nabij Narbonne)
bovenzaal: enkele realisten/hyperrealisten nl. Jacques Monory, Ralph Goings, Richard Estes, Don Eddy, Chuck Close, Barend Blankert



Master of Melancholy

'Being depressed is good for art', Barend Blankert said once in an interview with the Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, on November 14th 1997. Such statements are typical of this painter, for, if anyone is able to ironically distance themselves from Blankert's alienating and somewhat depressing pictures, it is the artist himself. Even though he is by far not as well known among the general public as the other 'realists', such as Matthijs Röling or Henk Helmantel, he is considered one of the most striking figurative present-day painters by experts.

To Blankert, born in Kampen, The Netherlands in 1941 and educated at the Rijksnormaalschool for art teachers in Amsterdam, the term 'realist' is far too limited. He is often considered one of the Northern realists, mainly because he lived in Friesland and Groningen for years, and taught at the art-academy Minerva in Groningen from 1971 to 1992, along with Röling, Wout Muller and Diederik Kraaijpoel. However, as opposed to his Northern colleagues, he is not a realist by conviction. At the start of his career he made abstract works for some time, and he developed his present-day figurative method not to record the observed reality as accurately as possible, but because this allowed him to express his themes.

Blankert's compositions are not simply literal paintings of people (often modeled on himself), interiors, pieces of furniture and landscapes, but representations of a unique observed reality which create an evocative series of associations and memories, the interpretation of which is left with the viewer.

It is not easy to put into words what Blankert's work is about. But as Blankert once put it, his work is 'not intended literary'; 'the image speaks for itself'.

'Barend Blankert, Master of Melancholy'* covers Blankert's entire career, from the early sixties up to and including today, even though the accent is on his later work.

© Jan Jaap Heij
*Barend Blankert, Meester van de Melancholie. Uitgave Drents Museum - Waanders, 2002
ISBN 90 - 400 - 9638 4