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Artists Among Us: Artist Profile - Hans Van de Bovenkamp

Originally Posted: June 23, 2009

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"Sagg Portal," 2008, Sagaponack Sculpture Field, Sagaponack. All art images courtesy of artist

Continuing with our artist profiles of artists both living and working in the Hamptons, our next artist is Hans Van de Bovenkamp, who lives in Sagaponack

Artist Hans Van de Bovenkamp in his Sagaonack studio. Photo by Eileen Casey

Sagaponack - Hans Van de Bovenkamp was born in Holland in 1938, and in 1958 attended the School of Architecture, Amsterdam, Holland, and then from 1959 to 1961 attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ml (B.S. Science and Design).

Van de Bovekamp has received the Best Sculpture Award, Guild Hall, East Hampton in 2003. In 1996 he won the Sanctuary Design Competition, Omega Holistic Health Institute, in Rhinebeck, New York, and in 1976 he was enrolled in the American Institute of Arts and Letters, New York. In 1976 he was awarded the Nebraska Bicentennial Sculpture Competition in Sydney, Nebraska; and in 1964 he was awarded the Emily Lowe Sculpture Award in New York.

Van de Bovenkamp is an Advisory Board member to the Institute for Symbolic Studies and the Omega Institute. He is also a member of the International Sculpture Center; New York Sculptors Guild; and the Royal Society of British Sculptors. Commited to his community, Van de Bovenkamp will be one of the 18 artists participating in the AdultCamp @ Ross "Collectors Eye" series where "visitors will tour both influential and emerging artists' studios on the East End, and gain a glimpse into the mystery and process that goes into the formation of ideas and the creation of work" [beginning June 30 through Aug. 18]. Van de Bovenkamp has also recently donated pieces for auction to the Springs Improvement Society, as well as the Hamptons Music Festival.

"Confluence," 1976, Sydney, NE, for the Bicenntenial.

Commenting on his beliefs as an artist, Van de Bovenkamp states, "I have become increasingly aware of art as a dialogue between matter and spirit. In recent works, I have emphasized myth, symbol, and dreams and the evolution of time (historically and with aging) to evoke an atmosphere in which the sculpture and its environment speak to the subconscious of the observer."

Further elaborating, "These miniature landscape 'shrines,' with symbolic trees, water, spirit houses, stairs to indicate scale, are all with the orientation to the celestial world. These landscapes are intimate and hopefully one day they can be realized full scale, as they have been built throughout history by various cultures and are today still experienced as tourist meccas."

When did you start making art and what medium(s) do you consider to be your roots in art?

HVdB: Since 1961, I have been exhibiting all over the world. I have had more than 50 one-man shows in addition to taking part in numerous group exhibits.

What is it about the Hamptons that brought you here and enticed you to stay, work, and pursue your art here as opposed to some place else?

HVdB: I came out here to visit friends - de Kooning, Lassaw, Ray Parker, Syd Solomon and Tony Rosenthal - I knew them all in my 20s, and had a studio next to de Kooning. For many years I had been isolated in evolving my body of work, and had no one to talk to about it, however, I am now with a gallery (Louis K. Meisel Gallery) and I can talk to him about my work just as I made that connection so many years ago to artists living out here. My wife, Siv Cedering, and I bought this farm in Sagaponack and I spent years transforming it to a place for our art and to be creative. It is always evolving as I am. We went through a great deal to build what we wanted - dealing with the ZBA, cleaning up - I even learned to use a backhoe! [The property includes a pond, horses (rescue horses from Amaryllis Horse Farm) and a number of buildings in addition to the house and studios - Van de Bovenkamp uses a golf cart nowadays to get around the property - perhaps due to over exertion with that backhoe!).

"Fiddlehead Fountain," 2007, Wainscott.

How do you support yourself as an artist?

HVdB: I have completed more than 50 commissions, including monumental sculptures that have become landmarks in parks and plazas.

Why live and work in the Hamptons as opposed to elsewhere?

HVdB: I find the Hamptons to have a great art community. Also, of course, the light, and the flat horizon. I always use a low horizon line in my work for sculpture and the flat, low horizon line here reminds me of the Netherlands, which is actually below sea level. I am also able to make a link here between the art and the architecture. As for that light - it makes for wonderful reflective light in my work, particularly the morning light which is magical. The links between architecture and preservation found here is also very important to me.

What local environmental or historical aspects of the Hamptons do you relate to that may be reflected in your medium?

HVdB: The spectacular light here.

What artists do you feel have influenced you and your work?

HVdB: Picasso, David Smith and Frank Gehry.

What advice would you give an emerging artist?

HVdB: Work, work work and show everywhere.

"Gateway," 1986, Manhattan House, NYC.

What gives you an edge (if any)?

HVdB: My experience and the large scale of my work

What are you working on now, and are you involved in any upcoming shows or exhibitions?

HvdB: ArtHamptons (Van de Bovenkamp will be unveiling five sculptures), and an installation at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (New York City). But I must mention the "Sagg Portal" series here. This is a series I have been working on for the past six years. It is about "menhir," which is a word for standing stone [such as Stonehenge]. These portals are to leave a mark by balancing shapes and stacks of metal relative to the landscape and environment. Similar to Abstract Expressionism, this has been a very important series for me. [Van de Bovenkamp unveiled two new sculptures last month, "Trinity" and "Red Gateway" at Manhattan House in New York City as well].

 • Hans de von Bovenkamp's sculptures can be seen in the "Four Visions" exhibit at the Spanierman Gallery in East Hampton, from Sept. 10 through Oct. 5. For more information visit www.spanierman-at-easthampton.com

 • To view more of Van de Bovenkamp's work visit the following website at www.vandebovenkamp.com, or Louis K. Meisel Gallery, www.meiselgallery.com or Sculpturesite Galley, SF www.sculpturesitegallery.com

"Champagne," 1983, Lansing, MI.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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dudley91402 says::
Exceptional work! I actually have an original fountain designed by Hans that my parents purchased in 1977. The name of the piece is 'Rondola', height 54", dia. 19" brass, copper and silver alloy. I have all of this information since my mother kept the original envelope and booklet that came with the fountain titled, 'A playground of the mind. The fountain collection designed by Hans Van De Bovenkamp. Would I be able to get some info on this work (how many in circulation, the value, etc.) as it's in perfect operating order and was kept in beautiful condition. I can supply photo's if needed. Any insight would so greatly be appreciated. Thankyou in advance.
Mar 4, 2011 8:16 pm

Guest (Linda van de Bovenkamp) from Chatham, Ontario, Canada says::
I love the size and space of Hans' sculptures. I am an artist myself and do not have the space to work large. Although my work is two dimensional, sculpture has always interested me.
Mar 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Guest (Jenn McMenemy) from New York, NY says::
These public works are amazing. I've seen "Gateway" at the Manhattan House but did not realize it was Van de Bovenkamp. Pays to work at a gallery. ;)
Sep 14, 2009 12:22 pm

Guest (Dorothy Frankel) from United States says::
amazing work Hans...
Aug 10, 2009 8:42 am

Guest (Jane Johnson) from Sag Harbor says::
What a great article about a wonderful artist. I love Bovenkamp's work.
Jul 16, 2009 4:51 pm


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