Emile van der Kruk


Emile van der Kruk 'uses the chainsaw as his brush': he integrates the art of painting in his wooden sculptures.He does not grind and polish the wood, but exploits the picorial aspects of the wood. He retains marks of the production process: chalk marks, tracks of gouge and chain saw, and utilizes limitations of core, gnarl and growth marks. Also he applies painterly techniques in his wooden sculptures: sketching, shading and perspective distortions.
Initially he uses that approach on still lives, which could be hung like a painting, and to hare paintings after Dutch still lives from the Golden Age. Next he cites specific works of e.g. Rembrandt, Soutine, Beckmann en Kirchner. With the dramatic effects thus developed he takes on a theme like the piƫta. In 'inner portraits he tries to dissolve the border between himself and the tormented fellow human being: the viewer stand face to face with the enlarged emotions of psychiatric patients that he portrays. He permeates the wood with the "psychic condition" of the erson portrayed, hence 'emotional realism'. More recently he portrayed friends and relatives, shifting the accent from the portrayed person to his relationship to that person (text after Sya van 't Vlie).

He also utilizes bronze and, more recently fragments of bones and broken pottery, as well as books as a basis for his 3-D work. These are invariably charged with emotion just like his wooden sculptures.

Emile van de Kruk studied at Art Academies in Rotterdam and Amersfoort. He made works in public spaces in Amersfoort and Koggeland en Amersfoort, and exhibited in galleries in Antwerp, Maastricht, The Hague, Utrecht, het International Art Centre (Baarlo), Wageningen, de Librije (Zwolle) en het Singer Museum (Laren). An overview of his work appeared in 'Emile van der Kruk', a book shaped as a block in distorted perspective, as if cut from a piece of wood by a chain saw (IAC, Baarlo, 2002).