Kees de Goede


3 July – 5 September 1999
work in collection

According to the dictionary Pulse means, among other things, heartbeat or rhythm. For those who know Kees de Goede’s work,this will immediately evoke associations with the imaginary ticktock of the clocks he draws so frequently. Some years ago the circular clockface and the circular course of the hands were a major theme in his work. This resulted in a ‘book of clocks’ (An Anthology of Events, 1995) visualizing the cyclical movement of time. On each page he drew a different circular clock, as a symbolical representation of the desperate attempt to capture time, bring it to a stop, in an artwork. Fittingly, the edition consisted of 365 copies. Circularity is a recurrent theme in De Goede’s work. His fascination for the circle began with his admiration for a ceiling fresco by Andrea Mantegna in which a circular balustrade can be seen in trompe loeil perspective. In the series of twenty new drawings (and one lithograph) on exhibition at De Pont during the summer months, the circle is present in various variations and with many meanings. As a decorative ball or elongated into a spiral, as the abstracted shape of a well-hole, a wheel or a head, or as the schematic suggestion of a clock, a compass or a bomb. In every case several interpretations are possible. The repetition of the form demonstrates that a limited basic concept can open up a large variety of pictorial possibilities. But Kees de Goede does not only explore divers figurative associations in his drawings. In the style of drawing and in the patterns of recurrent circular lines the same deceleration seems to occur as in the timeless clocks. The charcoal lines undulate across the paper and against the colored background, painted in acrylic, they seem to languidly ripple like rings in water. Forms shift and sometimes overlap, thus creating space, depth on the two-dimensional picture plane, and a dynamic perspective of variable, changing viewpoints.