The Drents Museum presents the best of Henk Helmantel's oeuvre
Henk Helmantel (Westeremden, 1945) is a nationally and internationally renowned artist from Groningen, famous for his masterfully painted still lifes and church interiors. More than 80 masterpieces from his oeuvre will be on view in the Drents Museum from 3 October 2020 to 7 March 2021. The exhibition Henk Helmantel - Master Painter combines paintings and objects depicted in them that come from the artist's personal collection. In addition to Helmantel's artistry, attention is devoted to how his art is experienced. Art, the experience of art and current events come together in a special way in the extensive programme around the exhibition.
The beauty of the ordinary
Henk Helmantel (Westeremden, 1945) has been painting for 54 years and shows no sign of slowing down. He belongs to the group of Northern Figurative Painters and is regarded as one of the leading figures of the Dutch Contemporary Realism movement. At first sight, Henk Helmantel seems to render his subjects and interiors in strictly realistic terms. Upon closer scrutiny, however, one discerns a kind of eternal, higher value that can be found in everyday objects and subjects. Helmantel transforms 'ordinary' things into treasures and honours the beauty of the ordinary.
Helmantel's work has a strong bond with the Drents Museum's collection of contemporary figurative art. Following the successful show devoted to the artist in 2004, the Drents Museum is once again organising a major Helmantel exhibition, this time with a selection of the best of his oeuvre, ranging from early to recent paintings, some of which have never been exhibited before. The special combination of his paintings with the objects – medieval wood sculptures, antique Chinese pottery and Roman glass – from Helmantel's personal collection depicted in them affords visitors greater insight into his artistry. The exhibition also features the short documentary Henk Helmantel - Driven by beauty, produced in collaboration with the Harms Rolde Collection. The exhibition was designed by Studio Berry Slok, Amsterdam.
Helmantel’s world is about inspiration and craftsmanship, light and dark, the rendering of texture, and stillness and spirituality. The experience of Helmantel's work is particularly valuable in these times of standing still, distance and contemplation. Henk Helmantel - Master Painter devotes special attention to the experience of Helmantel's work. As a visitor you can view the paintings in peace, sometimes even sitting down. You can engage on a deeper level with them thanks to various look-and-see tips and by listening to music from Helmantel’s studio with your own smartphone and headphones. You can also respond more actively and make your own drawing amidst these works of art. For families there is a free family route along all the works with look, do, think and play assignments.
Workshops and lectures
In addition to the free lectures on Thursdays and Sundays, there are special public activities at the exhibition. From 10 October 2020, for example, there will be a still-life sketching workshop on every second Saturday of the month. On 17 October 2020, an ensemble of the Noord Nederlands Orkest will perform music by Helmantel's great sources of inspiration: Bach, Sweelinck and Monteverdi. Harry Tupan, general director of the Drents Museum, will elaborate on Helmantel's style, his sources of inspiration as well as art criticism in his lecture on 14 November 2020. And Henk Helmantel will take you on a journey to the interiors of Gothic and Romanesque monasteries and churches in the Netherlands and abroad in his lecture on 16 January 2021. For an overview of the activities and additional information about prices and tickets, see: drentsmuseum.nl
To ensure availability, please order your tickets online.
Harms Rolde Collection is the main sponsor of the exhibition Henk Helmantel – Master Painter.
Click on the press photographs to enlarge them.
Captions (top to bottom):
-Henk Helmantel, In the kitchen of De Weem in Westeremden (detail), 2020, oil on panel, 122 x 168 cm. Museum Helmantel Collection. Photograph: Art Revisited, Tolbert
-Henk Helmantel, Chinese cabinet with open door, 2015, oil on panel, 122 x 105 cm. Museum Helmantel Collection. Photograph: Art Revisited, Tolbert
-Henk Helmantel, The north aisle of the church in Leermens, 2000, oil on panel, 140 x 122 cm. Museum Helmantel Collection. Photograph: Art Revisited, Tolbert
-Henk Helmantel, Still life with quinces and two bottles (details), 2019, oil on panel, 100 x 122 cm. Museum Helmantel Collection. Photograph: Art Revisited, Tolbert