January 16, 2018 – April 23, 2018
From January 16 to April 23, 2018 the City Museum Harderwijk shows work by the artist / illustrator Jan Egas (Hardinxveld, 1949).
Egas’ oil paintings are intrinsically related to surrealism. He compiles collage-like images from all sorts of separate fragments. Patches of dreams, cherished memories from his childhood and wonderful playfulness of nature merge with old maps and fragments from photographs. Each other’s alien elements meet and enter into unexpected relationships, creating magical worlds. “I want to look at things like a child, uninhibited, as if I were seeing them for the first time”.
Recurring themes are metamorphosis, time and transience and the ingenuity of technology versus the power of nature. There is, however, no univocal meaning or explanation; as a viewer you are invited to let your imagination run free.
You do not get bored quickly, because every performance is full of details and little jokes. And all that painted in an extremely refined style. “If I had lived in the Middle Ages I would have sat in a scriptorium, then I would be working on miniatures like a dedicated monk,” says Jan Egas.
As a painter he is self-taught. He has immersed himself in the technique of, among others, the Flemish Primitives and Johannes Vermeer. And in the wondrous paintings of the Surrealists. But his greatest example is Jeroen Bosch. Egas has been fascinated by his work since his childhood. It even led him to make a copy of Bosch’s masterpiece The Garden of Delights. This copy, which Egas worked on for five years, can be seen in Stadsmuseum Harderwijk.
In addition to free work, there is also a selection of more than forty years of commissioned illustrations. From advertising drawings for, among others, the Bijenkorf, HEMA, PTT, Albert Heijn, Heineken and Postbank to book covers and illustrations for magazines such as Margriet, Libelle and Tuinieren.
The architectural drawings that Jan Egas made for the Capitol Travel Guides are a feast of recognition. He recorded numerous monuments and museums in the Netherlands and Belgium down to the smallest details. According to the Capitol format: depicted in a thirty-degree perspective, and partly cut-away, so that both inside and outside of the building are visible. A large number of original designs can be admired at the exhibition. Jan Egas has also signed the Stadsmuseum Harderwijk ‘à la Capitool’ especially for this occasion.
The exhibition ‘Jan Egas. Humor and wonder’ in Stadsmuseum Harderwijk paints a picture of the versatility of the creative centipede Jan Egas. Wonder, humor, a loving eye for detail and great craftsmanship are reflected in all facets of his oeuvre.
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