Introduction to the work of Paul Dikker
Paul Dikker (1959) is an independent, internationally oriented visual artist. He is working in both the Netherlands and Norway. In 1984 he finished his art studies in at the State Academy of Fine Arts (Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten) and he graduated with distinction from his studies in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam in 1985. Since 1997 Paul Dikker has been travelling frequently through Spain and Portugal, where he also worked and lived for a while. Since 2006 he has been painting in Norway for at least three months a year. He has exhibited his work in The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Germany. In Norway he exhibited his work in Oslo, Bergen, Voss, Arendal, Norheimsund, Ålvik and Utne. In 2007 the Oslo Museum organized a solo exhibition with his paintings. In 2010 the publishing house Aschehoug Forlag (Oslo) released the book 'Alt det som er' (Everything there is), for which Paul Dikker collaborated with the Norwegian writer Bjørn Sortland. The book was spread across all the libraries in Norway. It got great reviews and even had a second edition.
Very few artists in the Netherlands are able to make a living from their art. Paul Dikker is one of them. He has been supporting himself as an artist without any state subsidy. His paintings are unique and personal, they cannot easily be reduced to one particular artistic style. Landscape became more and more the central theme of his paintings. After a period in which he concentrated on the silence and grandiosity of nature he is recently zooming into details as branches, leaves or parts of them. Recognizable nature is disappearing and his paintings become more and more non-figurative. More than ever, he is painting nature as an encompassing and overwhelming presence that is beyond our human understanding. It is exactly the absence of fixed meaning that defines our human condition: the ability as individuals with a free will to determine our own world and give it our own authentic purpose and meaning. With his adventurous, formally non-figurative paintings Paul creates a diverse, surprising and open universe that can not be captured in obvious, trivial and one-dimensional interpretations. His work is not only an expression of his own state of mind in relation to his social environment, but above all a loving ode to beauty and the mystery of life in all its silent incomprehensibility.
Paul Dikker creates about twenty paintings a year. The paintings are carefully produced using the finest materials. The colour fields are of brilliant intensity, due to the use of many thin layers of oil or acrylic paint. Very characteristic of his style, are his oblong paintings (2.75 cm x 20 cm).
In May 2006 his painting 'Somewhere else' has been chosen as the third best Dutch work of art of the past 50 years.
A troupe of 26 well-known experts, empanelled of museum directors, art collectors en art lovers, has selected 50 prominent works of art which, are according to them representative for the development of the visual arts in the past 50 years. The Dutch population was asked afterwards to vote for the best one. Paul Dikkers work of art was the first painting on the short list and it belongs to the Shell art collection.
Paul Dikker has done numerous projects on commission. Once a year he disseminates a newsletter, the so-called WAW-message. He organizes meetings and writes articles about art, culture and related issues. His paintings can be found in the collections of Teylers Museum, the provinces of Flevoland and North-Holland, the University of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands, City of Diemen, ING-bank, Shell, Oslo Museum (Norway) and many other companies and private persons in Belgium, Curacao, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States.