MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS.- The Bonnefantenmuseum presents Fons Haagmans - Lost Highway, on view through May 6, 2007. Fons Haagmans (1948, Schinnen) is one of todays most important artists of the Netherlands. As a painter, he searches for the limits of the medium in a very individual way. After a very expressionist period, he eventually arrived at a minimalist and decorative approach in the eighties. He uses stencils cut out of cardboard for his own interpretation of a range of mainly forgotten motifs. His number paintings, for instance, refer to the series from the Jewish Cabbala. Other motifs come from heraldry or from the world of country music.
Besides his appeal to something like a bygone collective memory, Fons Haagmans appears to be in search of the roots of representation. He applies simplified, abstracted images like those from a school primer to canvases that normally bear a rather refined, distinguished form of painting. Haagmans rides roughshod over High Art and prefers to assume the guise of a house painter. He has had a great influence on other artists. Haagmans has also had quite an influence on the younger generations, through his work as a teacher at the Rijksacademie and the Jan van Eyck Academie.
The exhibition is made up of rooms that are grouped according to motif and theme. The presentation method great blocks of paintings above one another without too much arrangement creates new meanings and connections that have probably never been noticed before. The exhibition is thus of an experimental nature and is expressly intended to open up paths rather than to close them off. The Bonnefantenmuseum has followed Fons Haagmans intensively since 1986 and now has fifteen of his paintings and thirty works on paper in the collection. A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition (136 pages).