Bull's-eye (1998) Rien Bout

Aad Hoogendoorn
About the artwork

This wall painting by Rien Bout shows the coat of arms of Katendrecht, which consists of horizontal blue and white stripes. The painting was first executed in 1998, on a block of houses that would be demolished later. The work with the title Bull's-eye turned out to be so popular that it was re-performed in 2017 by Atelier Leo Mineur. Originally that was not planned because Bout had no specific relationship with Katendrecht, but he was a real Rotterdammer. He worked on a realistic style in which he painted modest representations with a non-modest palette: warm colors that contributed to a spiritual warmth. He placed recognizable objects - such as a coat of arms and roses - in unusual combinations. He wanted to evoke a new mystical-magical reality with which to break the normal order of things. That is not possible in real life, but fortunately in art. Here too: the shield is completely flat, two-dimensional, but roses move in front and behind, as if it is a spatial object. Moreover, the roses are in a kind of vacuum that varies in color from pink to blue. So at first glance it is a normal, recognizable image, until you look better. In the summer of 2017 this work and eight other ornament frames, including restored and new artworks in the Katendrecht district of Rotterdam, were delivered. They have been realized in the project Cape color, a collaboration between Verhalenhuis Belvédère and BKOR.

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About the artist

The painter Rien Bout (Rotterdam, 1937 - Rotterdam, 2003) has built up an oeuvre of a warm and colorful magical realism, with room for stylization and modesty. Bout was born and died in Rotterdam. In the 1950s he studied at the Rotterdam art academy. Then the rest of the world ogled. He went to study in Antwerp and started a long series of trips to Istanbul, Rome, Spain and Paris. He taught at the academy in The Hague, and also briefly in Mexico. From there he brought a warmer palette, which can be seen in his paintings, of still lifes, human figures, the harbor, the landscape. With that Latin-American color scheme he wanted to give mysticism to his often everyday subjects, where he liked to play a game with 'autonomous art' and decoration: the performances are often a flower curtain or a tablecloth, or as in his mural painting at Katendrecht a number of roses who could have done so on a wallpaper, but are now also the main subject. After a life full of art, he seems to have died in armor: he died in his studio on a Sunday evening in February 2003.

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Katendrechtsestraat 22, 3072 NV Rotterdam, Netherlands