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Grenzeloos licht
De roep van het fjord
Het licht boven de stad
Het licht aan de overzijde
Gekleurde horizon
Spiegeling in de grijze zee
Henk Lassche (1948, Zwartsluis, The Netherlands) has been a landscape artist for twenty years. His paintings painted in thick paste-like oils intrigue, because they are more than abstract or just the reflection of an artistic adventure. The large paste-like fields and lines with which he has created his compositions are accurate and monumental.

Studio in Vanylven 2007
They visualize the sensation that the artist has with his beloved watery landscape near his native town of Zwartsluis and above all the Beulaker Wiede in the Northwest of the province of Overijssel.

Evening sky over extensive waters, sunlight over a wintry landscape, a blue horizon, ripples in the water, horizon lines, embankments, jetties, changing weather conditions, the silence and everything that makes him come back to these places.

Lassche makes those precious moments come to life in his abstract art. Layer by layer, with brushes and pallet knives he abstracts meaning from the oils.

It is a process of adding layers of oils, scraping away parts, grating, repainting, watching from a distance and reacting again until the canvas yields and silently expresses the beauty that brings the artist closest to his experience in the landscape.

In order to keep testing, but also because the artist can’t do without the attraction of his source of inspiration, Lassche can often be found in his beloved landscape in his boat.

Vanylvenfjord 2007
So far the artist has been home-loving as far as his sources of inspiration and his studio in Hengelo are concerned. That’s why the step he took in the past winter months to paint the unfamiliar Norwegian landscape, was such a special one. The safe characteristic studio with the stains of oil that reach every corner, contrasts sharply with the anonymous, impersonal working place that he moved into for some months in Trondheim. No telephone, no mail, no visitors.

Only the artist, entirely at the mercy of the oils and immaculate blank canvases. Pure concentration. However, the canvases did not remain blank for long. In the first place because Lassche can’t live without oils for one single day, but also because the new, wonderfully open landscape was familiar to him. It was familiar in a strange way, made him feel at home, charged him. Lassche thinks that it also has to do with the fact that he feels an artist of the north.

He is much less inspired by southern countries. The light is too harsh there. To him Norway felt like a comfortable coat which he wants to wear more often in the next few years, since he fell in love with this landscape and he is curious to find out what influence the other seasons can have on his paintings.

Neither the snow nor the mountains became the subject of his art. The artist was only on top of the mountains to ..…watch the water again. He watched the coming and going of the ships and the activity of the lively town that threw magical sparkling lights on the water at night, and he enjoyed it. It was above all the extremely short daylight which was so different from the Netherlands, the long, strange shadows and the continuous changing of that light on the water and on the opposite peninsula of Fosen. These endless whites and greys definitely became very important In the pictures Lassche was to create.

Alesund 2008
The colours in the new series of large and small canvases differ widely from the ones Lassche used in the past. The yellows, blues and reds that were so characteristic for Lassche are no longer dominant, but instead we find whites in all kinds of shades. The severe black lines that have dominated Lassche’s paintings for a long time are remarkably absent.

They gave way to lighter, more playful lines, more adventure in the stroke of the brush and freer forms. The artist breaks out of his frames and gives air to his compositions. Elements from former periods show up again and are more pronounced this time. Shapes of boats, heavy red lines against a clear yellow background. It is as if the artist zooms in on his beloved landscape. The forms are larger, the compositions more varied.

The top layer of the oils in his new paintings is riper, more mature and more lively, as they have been worked longer and more things have been admitted to them.

Some paintings seem a true ode to the Norwegian light. They sparkle in innumerable shades of whites and greys. When you look at them more closely, more colours appear, and the varied paste-like oils give power to the game with subtle silhouettes.

It must have been a real treat for the artist to paint so intently and at the peak of his abilities. Being allowed to watch it is equally a treat for the beholder.
© Henk Lassche 2013