• JOSE HEERKENS More pictures
  • JOSE HEERKENS More pictures
  • BORN :  1950



Jose Heerkens is a Dutch painter whose minimalist paintings explore the sense of movement created when colors interact and communicate with each other within a dimensional, lined space. She lives and works in Zeeland, Netherlands.


Heerkens studied Art of Painting at the Royal Academy for Art and Design in ’s–Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, where she graduated in 1984.

In 2011, she was artist-in-residence at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, CT, USA.


Heerkens begins her process by stretching raw linen over a wooden or aluminum frame. Using masking tape, she then marks off a vertical grid structure on the linen. She fills in the vertical grid using oil paints, and from there utilizes the vertical grid as a skeletal support for the development of the rest of the image. As the image continually evolves, the artist tapes off horizontal quadrants along the vertical grid, filling them with carefully selected colors. Her colors are chosen based on their perceived ability to complement each other in such a way as to create a sense of movement and dimensional space.


auctionsJose Heerkens - Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin, 2016, installation view



Heerkens' work is informed by an abstract response to phenomena related to nature and architecture. She has said that her work is essentially about “searching for space.” In an interview with the Dutch author and art historian Johannes van der Wolk, Heerkens discussed visiting Iceland and Tasmania. “Climate and landscape determine people’s natures and habits.” This statement is echoed in Heerkens’ comment about her paintings: “The colour gets its form in the length and width of a line.” 

Heerkens further mentions how she is moved by landscapes that feature “lots of magnificent undulating scenery, but also huge rugged and barren areas.” This interplay between the barren and the magnificent plays out in her abstract work as areas of color mingle and vibrate together, side by side with swaths of barren, unprimed linen.

By utilizing and expanding upon the languages of minimal and concrete art, Heerkens uses the simplified tools of color, line, form and no-form to create a visual conversation about systems, balance, and complementary interactions.


new oil paintings at auctions galleriesJose Heerkens - Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin, 2016, installation view



"In every painting, I search for the balancing dialogue between a line and the movement of color.  

There is the need to zoom in on the colour and the appropriate dosage of its space, light and energy. I search for each colour and its identity. When more colours come together they start to communicate and to relate to each other. This interaction makes colours move. 

Being free of matter, colour gets its form in the length and width of a line, by the touch and the physicality of paint. 

The line is an important means to shape and guide space, both the vertical and the horizontal lines are needed. Yet it is the horizontal line that predominates through the painting process, it pulls the image out, to the sides, towards a horizontal space. The vertical lines create the structure or framework on which the horizontals walk their own rhythm. In the complexity of the process of painting I strive for simplicity and clearness." (José Heerkens)


Heerkens' work is displayed in various museum and private collections in the Netherlands.
Her work is also featured internationally in public and private collections in several European countries, Australia and the U.S.A.  


José Heerkens has widely exhibited in Northern and Eastern Europe as well as Australia, China and US, in various solo and group exhibitions. Her work is also present in numerous publications.


 dr julius | ap. Berlin, Germany