Galerie Wilms Bert Loerakker

Bert Loerakker, Helmond 1948

As a fifteen-year-old Loerakker told his parents of his wish to become an artist. His father soon took him to several museums, where he showed him the abstract paintings of Piet Mondrian and the realism of Dick Ket “Between these two: that’s where it happens in art,” his father said. Loerakker then had no idea that those two extremes would become the main points of orientation throughout his work. Initially he began to question painting and produced – in a way very consistent with the times – virtually monochrome works. Later, during the 1980s and influenced by the Neue Wilde, Loerakker tried to see whether he, too, could work in this expressionist style of painting. For although he did paint in a highly minimalist tradition, he hadn’t lost his regard for the other end of the painterly spectrum. Ultimately the work of Claude Monet, William Turner and Chaïm Soutine appealed to him as much as that of Donald Judd and Robert Ryman. But to admit that was simply not done for many years. So how could he reconcile those two perspectives? And was there any point in doing so? Furthermore, painting from reality involved a considerable risk. That had nothing to do with technique – Loerakker can paint whatever he wants. The danger lay primarily with the idea that such a painting could become a mere picture. But tempting it was indeed. Especially for someone like Loerakker, concerned with his surroundings – the rolling hills and vast expanses of the countryside as well as the lines of sight and vistas in a city. Loerakker thought it too easy, however, and felt no real need to paint such subjects. “To me, it wasn’t enough.” During the early nineties, while preparing for an exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum, Loerakker found a form that worked for him. In the continual investigation which he considers painting to be, he began to juxtapose the oppositions in his body of work. This gave rise to the diptychs: rugged and expressive left-hand segments, smooth and monochrome ones on the right.


In the left-hand segment, the paint is allowed to be paint; it has been applied generously, with gusto. And with increasing frequency, what has been painted in that part relates to observations of nature: a reflection in water, for instance, or a beautiful flowering twig. That, at any rate, is what can be deduced from the image, since Loerakker is too modernist a painter to seduce the viewer with illusions. In the right segment, on the other hand, he is extremely controlled – almost detached. Sometimes it seems as though the left panel has been reduced, in the right one, to pixels in color. The two panels defy each other. That tension causes the viewer to ask questions. Is the right-hand part a translation of the lefthand one? Or do we see, on the left, an extracted reality and on the right the ideal, unseen world behind it? Those questions alone, the comparisons, enhance the observation. We automatically seek the limit, the thin dividing line between figuration and abstraction on which Loerakker balances. And the longer we look, the more we realize that the two parts cannot exist without each other. “The abstract segment is the toll that the observer pays for the freedom on the left,” Loerakker himself says. “But that holds true for myself as well. As a painter, I have a fairly Calvinistic mentality. Not until I’ve painted the part on the right do I feel justified in producing the one on the left. At that point those segments seem incompatible, but eventually it’s this very contrast which creates a bond. It reinforces the distinctness of each part and, as a result, the whole becomes even better. In a certain sense Loerakker’s works are thereby a visual variant of Hegel’s dialectic method in which thesis and antithesis are juxtaposed in order to attain a higher level: a synthesis. And with Loerakker’s work that is manifest in the mind of the viewer, who completes the image.

1965-1969 opleiding aan de Academie voor Beeldende Vorming te Tilburg

In 2010 onderscheiden als ridder in de orde van Oranje Nassau voor verdiensten als kunstenaar en inzet voor het kunstenveld (kunstwereld)


Exhibitions since 1975 (a selection)

Van Abbe huis, Eindhoven (met 2 gastkunstenaars)
PAN Amsterdam, Galerie Wilms
Galerie Wilms, met Alexandra Roozen, Venlo
Galerie Roger Katwijk, met Tijl Orlando Frijns, Amsterdam
RAM Foundation – mainroom, ‘Worlds of nature’ Rotterdam
De Cacaofabriek, met Hans van Hoek, Helmond
PAN Amsterdam, Galerie Wilms
Zobing am Kamp Oostenrijk Sommergalerie Zobing
Galerie Roger Katwijk, duo met Bart Keltholt, Amsterdam
Galerie Wilms, Venlo
Galerie Wilms, Venlo
Venlo, Museum van Bommel van Dam Live Atelier
Rotterdam RAM galerie
Amsterdam ART Amsterdam VIP Lounge Accenture (met Bart Kelholt)
Gorkum De Pastorie (samen met Jef Voets)
Venlo, Museum Van Bommel Van Dam
Schilderijen en monotypes 2001 – 2009 (cat.)
Amsterdam, Galerie Roger Katwijk
Bratislava [Sl], Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum
Schilderijen en monotypes 2001 – 2009 (cat.)
Ahaus [D], Kunstverrein (duo-tentoonstelling)
Eindhoven, Galerie Willy Schoots Patiotentoonstelling
Amsterdam, Galerie Krijger + Katwijk
Staphorst, Galerie Hein Elfrink (editie en monografie)
Eindhoven, Galerie Willy Schoots (cat.)
Eindhoven, Galerie Pennings
Nijmegen, Radboud Universiteit Eens te Meer (cat.)
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie Arti Capelli
Amsterdam, Galerie Krijger + Katwijk
Deurle [B], Grusenmeyer Art Gallery (met Sybille Pattscheck)
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie Arti Capelli (met Sjoerd Buisman)
Hamburg [D], Galerie Pim van der Donk
Rotterdam, RAM Galerie
Oosterhout, S.B.K.
Deurle [B], Grusenmeyer Art Gallery
Gent [B], Galerie Jan Colle (met Patrick Merckaert)
Rotterdam, ART Rotterdam Galerie Bastiaans (met Guus Koenraads)
Essen-Werden [D], Galerie Von Geymuller (cat.)
Neuss [D], Clemens-Sels-Museum (cat.)
Zwolle, Stedelijk Museum (cat.)
Amsterdam, Galerie Nanky de Vreeze
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie Arti Capelli (met Jan van Munster)
Ameide, Kunststichting Over de dam Project Zomer (kunstenaarsboek)
Eindhoven, Galerie Peninsula
Breda, Museum de Beyerd (cat.)
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie Arti Capelli
Amsterdam, kunstRai Galerie Arti Capelli (met JCJ Vanderheyden)
Antwerpen [B], Galerie Hugo Minnen
Dordrecht, Huiskamergalerie Voorwaar
Essen-Werden [D], Galerie Von Geymuller
Boxmeer, Galerie Bastiaans
Antwerpen [B], Galerie Hugo Minnen
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie Arti Capelli
Rotterdam, RAM Galerie
Oud-Rekum [B], Galerie Van Laethem
Eindhoven, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum
Amsterdam, Loerakker Galerie
Amsterdam, kunstRai RAM Galerie
Dordrecht Huiskamergalerie Voorwaar
Gent [B], Huize St. Jacobus
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie van den Berg
Amsterdam, Loerakker Galerie
Rotterdam, RAM Galerie
Helmond, Gemeente Museum
Dordrecht, Huiskamergalerie Voorwaar
’s-Hertogenbosch, Galerie van den Berg
Aalst [B], Galerie S 65
Dordrecht, Huiskamergalerie Voorwaar
Eindhoven, Galerie Thornfield
Amsterdam, Galerie De Witte Voet
Tilburg, Galerie Zero
Amsterdam, Galerie De Witte Voet
Franeker, Museum ’t Coopmanshûs (cat.)
’s-Hertogenbosch, De Moriaan (cat.)
Aalst [B], Galerie S 65
Eindhoven, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum (cat.)
Helmond, kunstzaal ’t Meyhuis (cat.)
Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum (cat.)
Amsterdam, Wetering Galerie (cat.)
Apeldoorn, Gemeentelijke Van Reekum Galerij (cat.)
Eindhoven, Cultureel Centrum De Krabbedans


Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Collectie ABN AMRO
Collectie KLM
Stedelijk Museum het Prinsenhof, Delft
Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede
Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
Gemeente Collectie, Helmond
Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch
Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam
Gemeente Collectie, Uden
Hannema de Stuers Fundatie, Heino
Museum Jan Cunen, Oss
Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Collectie Rabobank, Utrecht
Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo
Clemens-Sells-Museum, Neuss [D]
State Art Museum, Novosibirsk [Rsl]
Bouwfonds Nederlandse Gemeenten, Amersfoort
Provincie Limburg, Maastricht
Provincie Noord-Brabant
Amvest vastgoed, Amsterdam
Rijksgebouwendienst, Den Haag
Ministerie van Buitenlandse zaken, Den Haag,
Collectie Fontys, Tilburg,
Van Lanschot Bankiers, Den Bosch
Collectie Randsta, Diemen
Collectie TU/e, Eindhoven

vele privé collecties