Daan van Golden, Artist's Studio, Tokyo (blue), 1964, color photograph, Baryta paper, 20 x 20".

Daan van Golden (1936–2017)

Daan van Golden, whose subtle paintings, prints, photographs, and collages were inspired by Japanese and Dutch graphic design, Matisse, Buddhism, and pop music, has died.

Van Golden was a discriminating thinker and maker who worked according to his own clock, slowly and deliberately, from an almost hermetic visual universe. His patterns and symbols—so startlingly wan on the surface, yet anything but just beneath—are nearly hallucinatory in their paleness and formal stoicism. The artist produced very little during his lifetime and was often reluctant to exhibit his work. But what he did release before the public influenced and seduced many, such as artists Trisha Donnelly and Richard Aldrich, and writer and curator Bob Nickas.

Van Golden held solo exhibitions at venues around the world, including New York’s Greene Naftali (the gallery represents the artist); London’s Camden Art Center; Le Consortium, Centre d’Art Contemporain in Dijon; Galerie Micheline Szwajcer in Antwerp; and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. His work appears in the collections of The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum, as well as the ABN AMRO Collection and the Huis Marseille––Museum voor Fotografie, both in Amsterdam.

Donnelly, in the number one spot on her “Top Ten” list from the March 2004 issue of Artforum, said of the artist’s work, “At once dignified and psychedelic, van Golden’s paintings are often based on minute photographic forms and classical textiles. In one, he takes a snowy, pixelated outline (derived from multiple Xeroxes of the photo of a parakeet that Matisse used in his late collages) and cradles it in sky blue. Photographs of his daughter between the ages of one and eighteen are lovingly portrayed, curiously layered documents of youth. Within every photograph there is a quiet oddity, and out of each painting grows a form—elaborate and strangely pure of insistence.”