Johannes van Vugt









Big art event in Gorinchem this summer.

The Gorinchem Art Foundation, trading under the name ManiVesta, will hold an art manifestation in Gorinchem on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June 2023 at locations such as houses and gardens, monuments and fortifications. The art manifestation will take place every two years.

The art manifestation aims to draw attention to the role and significance of art and artists in society and to stimulate the dialogue between artists and the public. Manivesta also wants to establish a relationship between special places and art and in this way promote cultural tourism to the fortified city of Gorinchem. Gorinchem is known as the most beautiful fortified city in the Netherlands. The art manifestation therefore takes place in the fortress.

The theme for 2023 is: `Coming home`. 











Review Cyprus Mail

Maria Panayiotou

Interview Phileleftheros newspaper 


Many painters look back to images and memories from their childhood for inspiration. The Dutch visual artist Johannes van Vugt also does it, but without a nostalgic mood. "Childhood teaches us that everything changes and nothing stays the same, whether we like it or not," he says. We spoke with him on the occasion of his first solo exhibition at the Gloria gallery.

- How did you meet Gloria Kassianidou? Through a mutual friend, Lefteris Olympios. Gloria visited my studio in Amsterdam to see my work. She is an extremely sensitive professional and her knowledge of art is amazing.

- What does the title of the exhibition "The Road" symbolize? The title `The Road` comes from a poem by Robert Frost `The Road Not Taken`. The entire poem is a metaphor for life (the road) and the choices we make along the way. When, for example, you choose to become a painter, you will find many obstacles in your way. The secret is to stay true to your own feelings, intuition and passion. Some choices hurt, but they can also give a lot of satisfaction. My advice is to follow your heart and intuition.

- In your works you have references to your childhood. What prompts you to look back on this period of your life? Childhood is a stage of life in which we discover the world and learn to understand the people and things around us. On the other hand, it is a time when we are very vulnerable and dependent. What happened in our childhood remains a part of us, and sometimes it is very difficult to change it. Childhood does not mean nostalgia, as if you want to go back to that time and think that everything was good then. No, it`s more of a state of melancholy, knowing that everything changes and nothing stays the same, whether you like it or not.

- What topics do you deal with in this section of projects? I like to work within the tradition that painting offers us. I use the portrait, the human figure, nature. I make conscious and unconscious choices about a subject and give the painting a title if there is a reason to do so. Each work has its own right to exist and a reason why it was painted. For me painting is a sheer necessity to understand and visualize the relationship with my subconscious and my everyday reality. It is up to the viewer to discover for himself what interpretation he wants to give to my paintings.

- How has the fact that you were born in a country with a great tradition in the arts influenced your visual work? I was born in the countryside, where my horizon was literally deep and far. In the city your horizon is limited. The vastness of the river and the landscape shaped my perspective as a child. I can remember pictures of paintings being depicted on many items, such as the "Night Patrol" on a cookie jar. Or the illustrations accompanying a biblical story or the first encounter with the old Dutch paintings when entering a museum for the first time. Dutch painting has a remarkable tradition, characterized by the use of light. No painter can ignore the Dutch light. Of course, how you are affected also depends on the time period you grow up. I grew up in an era where abstract expressionism was very trendy, while later in my teens Zero movement and performance creation was very hot. I process in my subconscious all these images, from the past to the present.

- How did you choose painting as a visual medium? When I was studying, I experimented with all kinds of things, from charcoal drawing, painting, photography to designing 3D installations. In my early years I focused on graphic design, drawing and sculpture, I loved working with clay. I very consciously chose oil, it has been around for centuries. I like to work with the so-called "wet in wet" technique. The shades, clarity and reflection of light are unprecedented.

- Is your work influenced by Dutch or foreign artists? Every artist is influenced by other artists or cultures, whether in the visual arts or in the musical or literary world. Through his own sensitivity, study and observation, an artist develops a specialized eye, an "eye of his own" that gives him his own identity. It takes years to achieve.

- How difficult is it for an artist to develop his own identity? It is a road with many obstacles and pitfalls. I believe that if you stay true to your intuition and passion, you will develop your own visual language. Identity is a tricky thing. Sometimes I think it doesn`t exist at all, but is rather a set of experiences, lived emotions, social and psychological facts, cultural and

flows from abroad. As an artist you just exist and you don`t have to account for which group you belong to. Rembrandt and Van Gogh are not the exclusive property of the Dutch. They belong to all people. Every human being is the heir of all human creation. Historian Noah Yuval Harari has written a wonderful essay on this. The search for identity is dangerous – man is a complex being. Those who limit their world to the history of a single group of people are alienated from their humanity.

- What does it mean for you to present your work outside the borders of the Netherlands? It`s definitely an honor if you can show your work to as many people as possible. You gain new experiences by exhibiting in another country. It also serves a great social and economic interest: It enhances social participation and can connect people of different cultures. I remember an exhibition at the Jeju Museum in South Korea, where whole school classes paraded past my work.

- Is it difficult for an artist to live only from his work? Of course it is difficult, but artists are creative people and find a way to deal with financial problems. Only a very limited number of professional artists can make a living from their own work. Most secure their income from other sources. There is currently a major Vermeer retrospective in Amsterdam, of the most talented painters of all time. In addition to being a painter, he was also an innkeeper, an art dealer and a member of a militia guild. Not everyone is lucky enough to be a Banksy who turns the art world upside down, especially in the financial sector.

Nicosia, Gloria (22762605). Johannes van Vugt`s exhibition entitled "The Road" opens on March 2, 7pm. Until 21/3





"The Road" - an exhibition of paintings by the Dutch artist Johannes van Vugt at the Gloria Gallery

Gloria Gallery presents the exhibition of paintings by the Dutch artist Johannes van Vugt entitled "The Road". The opening of the exhibition will be held by the Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ms. Fieke Huisman on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

The title of the exhibition "The Road" comes from a poem by Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken". In his paintings you can find examples of the choices that determine our journey through life. In his paintings Van Vugt often refers to his childhood. A growing child has to make choices that may turn out to be good or bad. How we interpret these choices really makes us who we are. We can look back at the past and see what choices have shaped us the most.

Reflecting on the cycle of human life, Johannes van Vugt paints his subjects with a sensitivity to human happiness and sadness. He often uses classic forms of expression of Western Art History, such as the portrait or the human figure. Van Vugt is guided by historical events as well as his personal experiences. Working within this context, Van Vugt uses his emotional background as a means to critique contemporary ideas about religion, art, history, interpersonal relationships, and social identity.

Johannes van Vugt was born in Rijswijk (Nbr.), Holland. He studied at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (1980 - 1981) and at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten St. Joost Breda (1981 -1985). After graduation he received an honorable mention at the National Graduation Expo "Start `85". Johannes van Vugt continues to build on his already impressive body of work, as evidenced by the fact that his works are in a large number of private and public collections in the Netherlands and abroad. He has exhibited his work in individual and group exhibitions in the Netherlands, Greece, South Korea and France.

Writing about the artist`s work, art historian Rob Perrée states: “As many things have the ability to evoke memories, e.g. the photos from old times, Johannes Van Vugt seeks memories from his past and uses photos as inspiration for his paintings to achieve this. With his painting it seems that Van Vugt intends to perceive the changes of the past. Some of his paintings express the sadness of farewell, the pain of war and death, others express joy and happiness, but all express the wish that time has healed the wounds. Van Vugt created his own archive by painting his images as if they were postcards from the past: the small and serial setting of his works creates the impression of a cinematic character. Some of the images are related to personal photos of the world, while others use photos of other people and are only indirectly related to his personal life. This is what makes the series also part of a collective memory"

The exhibition opens Thursday, March 2 and will remain open until March 21, 2023.
Gorcums Museum 

Gorcums Goed

October 20, 2022 to January 8, 2023

Contemporary art, design, photography and poetry.

In 2022, Gorinchem will reflect on local history. The Gorcums Goed exhibition responds to this with a contemporary twist. Attention is paid to heritage, art, photography, poetry and design from our own soil. From the story of the Martyrs of Gorcums from 1572, which has been incorporated into modern jewellery, to installations and poetry by young makers.

The exhibition consists of six partial presentations. Piece by piece Gorcums Good!


Gorgeous Shards
In 1572 the Watergeuzen captured 19 Catholic clergy in Gorinchem. They are tortured and hanged in Den Briel. This gripping story of the Martyrs of Gorcum is depicted in some stained glass windows that are currently being restored. Contemporary artists and designers present jewelery in which the beautifully colored glass shards from the restoration process have been incorporated.

Contribution by Johannes van Vugt
"Martyrs of Gorcum"
Oil paint, cotton and dried flower (Judas medal)
20 works (each work 13x18cm)
Collection Gorcums Museum