Three pioneering artists that’ll inspire you to do something incredible

All artists currently featured by the AkzoNobel Art Foundation have one thing in common – a pioneering mindset. Find your own inspiration in these three artists from the “Reflections beyond the surface” exhibition.

Artists know that breaking new ground requires a certain kind of attitude, a pioneering mindset. To create art is to be bold, embrace change and take risks.

It’s not only artists who can benefit from such a pioneering mindset. All of us can use new approaches to accomplish incredible things, even things we previously thought impossible. That’s why this way of thinking is reflected in our own company purpose: "Pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life".


New exhibition celebrates artists with a pioneering mindset

Helping us to usher in this new company purpose, is the AkzoNobel Art Foundation’s colorful new exhibition: “Reflections beyond the surface”.

We hand-picked three artists from the exhibition that are bringing their surfaces to life, as inspiration for you to bring your own ambitions to life. These artists are all pioneers in stretching and reinterpreting the possibilities of their media.



Robert Zandvliet painting

Robert Zandvliet | Untitled | 1999 | Egg tempera on canvas

Van Gogh Musem painting

Vincent van Gogh | Tree roots | 1890 | Oil on canvas 

Robert Zandvliet

Untitled (1999) is Zandvliet's take on the famous last painting by Vincent van Gogh, Tree Roots (1890), an entanglement of roots and soil which was painted near his house in Auvers-sur-Oise.

At first glance, the exuberant reds, oranges and blacks in Zandvliet's painting seem to be only abstract shapes. On further inspection, the painting’s composition and lines are almost identical to Van Gogh's. However, Zandvliet’s large brushstrokes, fiery colors and big canvas make the work seem even bolder and more alive.

The scene pays tribute to the great master, with Zandvliet analyzing and taking inspiration from Van Gogh’s works in much the same way that scientific researchers build on, re-interpret and deconstruct the work of others.

Will you, like Zandvliet, create a modern hit out of a classic masterpiece?



Bob eikelboom

Bob Eikelboom | Boots in the Air, Fish on the Ground, Birds in the Sea, Hands on the Hips, as the Ship Sinks | 2018

Bob Eikelboom

Bob Eikelboom is a young talent known for his “magnet paintings" in which he plays with the limitations of the flat painterly surface by including magnetized collage elements.

We can see this at work in Boots in the Air, Fish on the Ground, Birds in the Sea, Hands on the Hips, as the Ship Sinks (2018). The fact that the magnets can be repositioned, creating new compositions and entirely new paintings, gives rise to questions regarding the originality of the artwork itself.

Eikelboom invites the viewer to sit in the master’s chair – and who then is really the artist? It’s a radical way to bring new surfaces to life.

Like Eikelboom, can you find new and radical ways to bring others into your work?  



Vera Gulikers painting

Vera Gulikers | Threadingdoek: Portrait of Massimiliano Stampa, Sonofisba Anguissola | 2019

Vera Gulikers

Vera Gulikers’ work stands out for its tempting pastel color fields and its specific use of materials. Threadingdoek: Portrait of Massimiliano Stampa, Sonofisba Anguissola (2019) is a great example.

Combining centuries old egg-tempera paint with contemporary applications like puff-ink and flock, she challenges our conception of what paintings should look and feel like.

Gulikers finds it exciting to stumble on something that doesn’t resemble anything else. It gives her the sensation of treading new ground. Once, she accidentally knocked over a bucket of tempera paint and enjoyed the abstract result of the half-cleaned surface so much, she decided to use the idea in her paintings.

How will you, like Gulikers, find inspiration in your mistakes?

AkzoNobel art foundation

Visit the exhibition

“Reflections beyond the surface” is on display in the AkzoNobel Art Space in Amsterdam. Not able to visit in person? No problem – the exhibition and full collection are available online, for whenever you need some inspiration.

Fetching the data, please wait...