the-hague

Robert Zandvliet, Red Studio, 2009, gesso and tempera on linen, 80 x 91".

Robert Zandvliet

Gemeentemuseum

Robert Zandvliet, Red Studio, 2009, gesso and tempera on linen, 80 x 91".

Robert Zandvliet’s exhibition “I Owe You the Truth in Painting” posed an interesting question: Should a painter copy another’s work? While the history of painting is filled with celebrated reinterpretations—Van Gogh’s paintings after Millet’s The Sower or Picasso’s series based on Velázquez’s Las Meninas come to mind—a lingering suspicion seems to attach itself to copies today. Perhaps now that we have long since entered the age of mechanical reproduction, turning one painted world into another seems like too small a step, less significant and personal than transforming reality itself into paint on canvas.

But Zandvliet has taken that small step without hesitation. “I Owe You the Truth” consisted of personal interpretations of works by painters such as Hokusai (Volcanic Eruption: The Appearance of Hoeizan), Piet Mondrian (Pier and Ocean), Roy Lichtenstein (White

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