About

Artist Statement

Robert van de Graaf (b. 1983, the Netherlands) is interested in the connections and relations between the mystical in this world, in all its manifestations (the sea, the sky, nature, human built environments, light and darkness), and the sense and the dimension of the spiritual world and our soul. 

In his exploration he is seeking the mystical hidden in this world which he translates into metaphorical paintings. The works express a complex interplay of visual impressions combined with emotional and spiritual reflection. Each piece gives substance to his ongoing personal journey to seek meaning in life.

With his work Van de Graaf questions human destiny and how we as human beings can develop ourselves and grow on a spiritual level. He wishes his artworks to stimulate an opening towards personal deepening, both for himself and the viewer. The artworks aim to elicit a gaze back at the viewer, a reflection of feelings, crossing the line from observation to introspection.

Van de Graaf draws his inspiration from religious and spiritual stories, mythology, mystical places and the philosophy of life. His poetry, written during or before the creative process, also has a direct influence on his work. He transforms his inspiration into contemporary interpretations while richly referring to artists through all times of art history such as Caspar David Friedrich, Anselm Kiefer, Joan Mitchell and the old masters.

Though primarily working on his oil paintings, he is also using drawings and watercolours during the creation process. The oil paintings are layered, densely merging his diverse range of mark making, the expressive use of colour and studied compositions. His mark making, using brushes and palette knives, is moving from energetic gestural marks to very delicate ones, wishing his mark making to create a language which speaks directly to the heart and soul, not only to the ratio and mind. Throughout the different stages of the work he is adjusting in working speed, working from fast directed intuitive outbursts to precisely observed slower additions. The paintings are often large in scale and balance between the figurative and the abstract, giving a certain freedom to the viewer.

Van de Graaf received a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Architecture (Technical University Delft) in 2009. At an early age he enjoyed an intense private painting and drawing training (1996 – 2001) by the Dutch artist Erica Meyster (1949 – 2006).

Van de Graaf experiences the process of creating as freedom, inner battles and faith.

Biography

Robert van de Graaf (1983, born in The Hague, the Netherlands) is a Dutch visual artist living and working in The Hague, the Netherlands. 

Van de Graaf received a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Architecture (Technical University Delft) in 2009. In 2005 and 2006, he worked as an intern in architecture in New York City. At Steven Learner Studio he worked on several art-related projects. Since 2012 he is devoting himself entirely to his career as a visual artist. He has since produced a large body of work, consisting theme-based series of artworks which are exhibited in numerous online and physical exhibitions, like his major exhibition in Europol Headquarters, The Hague, the Netherlands in 2019. Robert has been selected for the ‘Emerging Artist Programme 2023’ by Contemporary Art Collectors as one of the 20 internationally chosen artists.

He also enjoyed an intense private painting and drawing training at an early age (1996 – 2001) by the Dutch artist Erica Meyster (1949 – 2006). This period remains of great importance to his development as an artist.

Van de Graaf is interested in the connections and relations between the mystical in this world, in all its manifestations (the sea, the sky, nature, human built environments, light and darkness), and the sense and the dimension of the spiritual world and our soul. In his exploration he is seeking the mystical hidden in this world which he translates into metaphorical paintings. The works express a complex interplay of visual impressions combined with emotional and spiritual reflection. Each piece gives substance to his ongoing personal journey to seek meaning in life.

He draws his inspiration from religious and spiritual stories, mythology, mystical places and the philosophy of life. His poetry, written during or before the creative process, also has a direct influence on his work.

Though primarily working on his oil paintings, he is also using drawings and watercolours during the creation process. The works are layered, densely merging his diverse range of mark making, the expressive use of colour and studied compositions. The paintings are often large in scale and balance between the figurative and the abstract, giving a certain freedom to the viewer.

His art is held in private collections through the Netherlands, the United States and France.

Robert van de Graaf in the studio

Resume

2016  – current

Working as a visual artist, The Hague, The Netherlands

2012 – 2015

Working as a visual artist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2010 –  2011

Working at two Dutch architectural firms

2001 – 2009

2009, July, Master of Science (MSc), Architecture, Technical University Delft, the Netherlands.
2006, bachelor degree Architecture, Technical University Delft, the Netherlands.

August 2006 – September 2007

Internships in Architecture, New York City, New York.

– Steven Learner Studio (Steven Learner, founder of ‘Collective Design Fair’, New York City, New York), worked on ‘the Granary’ (private gallery for the collectors M. Bucksbaum and R. Learsy), Litchfield County, Connecticut and ‘Haunch of Venison’ gallery, New York City, New York

– Rietveld Architects, New York City, New York

Working as a visual artist, New York City, New York. Studio apartment was situated in the Hamilton Heights (143rd Street, between Broadway and Riverside Drive)

1996  – 2001

Private education in painting and drawing by the Dutch Artist, Erica Meyster (1949 – 2006).

30th September 1983

Born in The Hague, The Netherlands

Extensive resume on request

Exhibitions

2023     11 March – 1 July

Solo-exhibition, Salon des Arts, Maastricht, the Netherlands, The exhibition will be opened on 11th March (14:00 – 18:00) by Ad Himmelreich, former conservator of the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, the Netherlands. The publication, written by Ad Himmelreich, about the artist and his work will be revealed on the opening. 

2023     1 February – 31 December 

Contemporary Art Collectors, ‘Emerging Artist Programme 2023’, Online artists catalogue www.contemporary-art-collectors.com

2022    14 September – 15 November

Contemporary Art Collectors, ‘Fabricated Realities’, Group-exhibition, virtual art exhibition, www.contemporary-art-collectors.com/virtualartexhibition

2022

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2022    10 August – 10 September

London Paint Club, ‘Tendencies in Painting’, Group-exhibition, online viewing room, www.londonpaintclub.com – Tendencies in Painting

2022    23 February – 23 July

Contemporary Art Curator Magazine,  ‘Butterfly Effect’, virtual exhibition, presenting work of the series ‘Stories of Transition’, www.contemporaryartcuratormagazine.com

2022    8 -15 February

THE HOLY ART, ‘Transitions’, Virtual group-exhibition, presenting work of the series ‘Stories of Transition’ 

2021      22 – 31 October 

ACAF x Catawiki auction, presenting works on paper of the series ‘Stories of Transition’. Curated by Stephanie Manasseh (SM Art Advisory & Accessible Art Fair)

2021

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2021    16 September – 7 October

London Paint Club, ‘Contemporary Narratives’, Group-exhibition, online viewing room, www.londonpaintclub.com

2021    1 April – 1 June

Contemporary Art Station, ‘VRAF 2021 | Virtual Art Fair’, virtual exhibition, presenting paintings of  the series ‘Silence and The City’

2021    1 February – 1 June   

Contemporary Art Curator Magazine,  ‘Infinite Dreams’, virtual exhibition, www.contemporaryartcuratormagazine.com

2020    29 August – 19 September

Studio Exhibition, presentation of the new series ‘Silence and The City’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2020    3 August – 1 December

Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, ‘New Horizons’, virtual exhibition, www.contemporaryartcuratormagazine.com

2019    December

Studio Exhibition, presenting the series ‘Saint John’s Cave of Light’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2019

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2019    11 – 14 April

Paris ART FAIR 2019, Paris, France

2019    15 January – 15 March

EUROPOL HEADQUARTERS, ‘Dutch Art Exhibition’ (group exhibition), The Hague, The Netherlands. Opening on 15th of January / Opened by Wil van Gemert, Deputy Executive Director of Europol and Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague.

2018

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2018    December

Studio Exhibition, presenting the series ‘Visions of St. John The Divine’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2018    5 – 9 December

Circle Foundation, ‘Red Dot Miami’, Miami, US

2018    May

Studio Exhibition, presenting the series ‘St. John’s Heavens and Stars’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2017    29 October – 5 November

Studio Exhibition, ‘Art & Wine opening new studio’, presenting the series ‘The Bible and the Sea’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2017

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2015    07 – 15 November

Classic Event 2015 (New Place Art Gallery), Kortrijk, Belgium

2015    12  – 14 June

Art Laren 2015 (New Place Art Gallery), Laren, The Netherlands

2015    19 – 27 April

Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch 2015 (New Place Art Gallery), ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

2015    01 – 30 April

New Place Art Gallery, Solo-exhibition, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

2015

Fransastic, ‘art, bees and urbanhny’, Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2014    September

Annual Dutch Art Fair, Solo-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2012

Kruithuis, Group-exhibition, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

2009    Autumn

Chiellerie, Group-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2009    August

Studio Graduation Exhibition, ‘Arts and Architecture Amsterdam’ (Deymanstraat), The Netherlands

2009    Spring

Chiellerie, Group-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2007    October

Ververs Gallery, Group-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2007    May

Studio Exhibition, ‘Harlem Soirée, 3 Artists’, New York City, USA. 143rd Street, 619, New York, New York (with Gabriel Serpa and Jordi Matas)

2001    17 February – 17 April

Fonteinkerk, ‘Recent Paintings and Drawings’, Voorburg, The Netherlands

Publications

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PUBLICATION, Aesthetica Magazine, Artist Directory & Publication, December / January (2023)

December / January (2023), Issue 110

Visit the Artist Directory during December and January on Aesthetica Magazine – Artist’ Directory . Van de Graaf is very happy to be included in the print publication with two works of ‘The Alchemy of Dreams’ series. 

Click here for video of the Artist’ Directory – Aesthetica Magazine

PUBLICATION, Aesthetica Magazine, Issue 110            PUBLICATION, Aesthetica Magazine, movie

 

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE, ’Tendencies in Painting’, by London Paint Club

November 2022

The exhibition features 28 international artists. Van de Graaf is presenting works from the ‘Stories of Transition’ series.

Visit the exhibition – London Paint Club

exhibition catalogue -Tendencies in Painting_1 exhibition catalogue -Tendencies in Painting_2

INTERVIEW, ‘COLLECTOR'S VISION INTERNATIONAL ART AWARD’, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine
COLLECTOR BOOK | NEW PERSPECTIVES, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

April 2020

Collector Book | New Perspectives / Hard cover and soft cover
Sold at various bookstores and distributed to gallery owners, museum directors and collectors

Link to the book

New-Perspectives-Book_Hardback 1 New-Perspectives-Book_Hardback 2

PUBLICATION ARTWORK, Vind Magazine nr. 31

September 2018 

Magazine hardcopy

Publication Vind Magazine

PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Publication Artworks on website, Circle Foundation for the Arts

Spring  2018  

PUBLICATION ARTWORK, Announcement Exhibition Artfair ADAF, Online Galerij

July  2014 

Online announcement art fair on website

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INTERVIEW, with ‘Contemporary Art Collectors’

27 January 2023

Contemporary Art Collectors is an art and culture platform that focuses on contemporary art collecting, showcasing a multitude of artists and their talent to thousands of followers. 

CAC discusses the relevant conversations and topics in art, examines potential paths of future development, the culture of contemporary art collecting, and how art itself can become a more prominent and meaningful part of people’s everyday lives. 

Visit Contemporary Art Collectors – interview – to read the whole interview!

 

 

 

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE, ’Contemporary Narratives Pt.2’, by London Paint Club

3 – 24 October 2021

The exhibition features 20 international artists. Van de Graaf is presenting three works from the ‘Silence and The City’ series.

Visit the exhibition – London Paint Club

Click here for video of the Publication Exhibition Catalogue

ONLINE EXHIBITION, ’Contemporary Narratives’_2

 

 

Contemporary Art Curator Magazine - Interview
PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Website by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

March 2019

Publication of a selection of artworks on the artist page, www.contemporaryartcurator.com/robert-van-de-graaf/

Publication Artworks website

PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Spotlight 9 Magazine, Circle Foundation for the Arts

July 2018  

Magazine Hardcopy and online

Link to the online version

Publication Artworks_Spotlight 9 Magazine

PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Publication Artworks in Magazine, Kunstoase

Summer edition 2014  

Magazine in hardcopy

Publication Artworks in Magazine_Kunstoase

 

Awards

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Luxembourg Art Prize, Honorable mention, 2022

2022

The Luxembourg Art Prize is an annual international artistic prize organized by the Pinacothèque, a private museum located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Its president and founder is Hervé Lancelin, one of the most influential art collectors in Europe.

Link to the Luxembourg Art Prize

Luxembourg Art Prize_Honorable mention_2022

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'Faces of the Peace Award', by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, October 2022

October 2022

Link to award page

2022_Faces of the Peace Award

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Luxembourg Art Prize, Honorable mention, 2021

2021

The Luxembourg Art Prize is an annual international artistic prize organized by the Pinacothèque, a private museum located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Its president and founder is Hervé Lancelin, one of the most influential art collectors in Europe.

Link to the Luxembourg Art Prize

Luxembourg Art Prize_Honorable mention_2021

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'Collector's vision International Art Award', by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, March 2021
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Luxembourg Art Prize, Honorable mention, 2019

2019

The Luxembourg Art Prize is an annual international artistic prize organized by the Pinacothèque, a private museum located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Its president and founder is Hervé Lancelin, one of the most influential art collectors in Europe.

Link to the Luxembourg Art Prize

Luxembourg Art Prize_Honorable mention_2019

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SELECTED, for the ‘Emerging Artist Programme 2023’, by Contemporary Art Collectors

27 January 2023

Contemporary Art Collectors is an art and culture platform that focuses on contemporary art collecting, showcasing a multitude of artists and their talent to thousands of followers. 

CAC discusses the relevant conversations and topics in art, examines potential paths of future development, the culture of contemporary art collecting, and how art itself can become a more prominent and meaningful part of people’s everyday lives.

Visit Contemporary Art Collectors – Emerging Artist Programme 2023 – to visit the Artists Catalogue.

Emerging Artist Programme 2023

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'Voices of Tomorrow Award', by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, May 2022
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'Power of Creativity Award', by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, August 2021

August 2021

Link to award page

2021_08_Power of Creativity Award

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Luxembourg Art Prize, Honorable mention, 2020

2020

The Luxembourg Art Prize is an annual international artistic prize organized by the Pinacothèque, a private museum located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Its president and founder is Hervé Lancelin, one of the most influential art collectors in Europe.

Link to the Luxembourg Art Prize

Luxembourg Art Prize_Honorable mention_2020

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'Artist of the Future' Award’, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, November 2020