During the more than thirty
years in which Gerard van den Oetelaar made works of art, he always had
a clear end in view:
finding a visual expression for his inner world of experiences.
At first, starting as a
self-taught man, he experimented making aquarelles, gouaches and
charcoal drawings. In 1975 he took a
course in portrait painting and as a result of that he was able to continue his experiments in a more skillful manner.
During the following years,
among other things, he made fresco paintings and many portraits in
oilpaint and charcoal.
On request he also illustrated several books.
His personal investigative
way of creating, gradually developed from a figurative approach to
complete abstraction. The artist developed a technique which is
completely in balance with his individual view. Following his wish to
visually express his inner
feelings in a compact self-evident composition, he created spatial reliëfs in cotton, wood and paint. With these works of art he
broke through the limitations of the first and second dimension.
His stroke of the brush as it were, has made the intimate experiences more tangible. In his work Gerard van den Oetelaar aims at a dimension where personal experiences and influences from without, are in balance.
PERAB: meaning 'personal abstraction'
For Gerard this is an ever returning challenge in which he tries to embody his individual aspects as well as the principal's aspects in an abstract reliëf. The choice to omit titles is made on purpose in order not to trouble the free play of the composition by needless thoughts. The straying of the eyes evokes an atmosphere which expresses the artist's state.
"New Substantiality" was
the name of the exhibition in Moscow where Gerard was on
of the Malevich Foundation in May 1994.
The "A-3", The Culture of Art Department of Moscow chose one of his paintings for their collection of The Russian Department of Culture, The Museum of Modern Art in Moscow. It was called 'Wereldsprong'.
In commemoration of Peter
the Great's visit to the Netherlands 300 years ago,
in September 1997 van den Oetelaar exhibited in Yaroslavl (Russia).
Art Museum chose one of his paintings for their collection of modern
art and called it Cosmic Fantasy.
At this occasion van den Oetelaar was presented a memorial medal by the cultural diplomat of the Dutch embassy.
Ever since the Moscow
exhibitions, twenty-two of Gerard's works circulate among
various galleries and museums
in Russia as part of a permanent group exhibition of foreign artists.
In March 2000 Van den Oetelaar had an exhibition in the Art Museum of Tula (Russia). Three works were acquired by this international museum, which also owns paintings of Kandinski, Malevich and Shretenberg.
In memory of 400 years
V.O.C. (first international Dutch trade company) Melaka-Malaysia March
2002 another exhibition
followed in Historisch Museum 'THE STADT HUYS' at Melaka. A special painting named Tulips of Holland aquired a permanent place in the museum.
Spring 2003 Gerard made in order of the same Historisch Museum a portrait of the Dutch queen Beatrix. At the same time the opening took place of his exhibition History and Future, and the artist received from the Chief Minister of Malaysia a donation sculpture of honour, the Silver Creese.
With his reliëf paintings and free-styling objects he comes forward and arouses the interest of several private art collectors in The Netherlands as well as abroad.