Virtuoso painter

Joost Verhagen

Joost Verhagen (1958-2013) is characterised as a virtuoso painter with a distinct style, that has inspired many. With viewing his work, people are introduced to a fascinating inner world and the joy with which the works were made. The art of Joost Verhagen communicates, it’s stilled energy that radiates, with the hope that the spectator will savour it.

In the past, Joost painted landscapes and big abstract works that were built up in powerful brushstrokes. Throughout the years the abstractions morph into more figurative elements. It is figurative, but not in the classical sense. For Joost, painting space – preferably empty space – the big challenge. An almost impossible assignment. Empty space is continuous and variably filled with potential, feelings, impressions, ideas… He was able to translate that in an incredible manner.

Layers, power and energy
His series of paintings under the name ‘Reformed Light’, that was inspired by the incoming light of the Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden is witness to this search. The layers, power and energy that these paintings radiate, show a true expert, an artist that can and will touch, that makes mysteries visible. And that is exactly what he wishes to show his visitors: that touch of mystery… The experience of a painting if different for everybody; everyone watches through their own eyes and relates his or her own feelings to their experience. Not only for the viewer, but also for Joost himself, the paintings could be different every day.

In 1984 Joost Verhagen graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. After his end exam, he had early success. His work was bought by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, he exhibited in prominent galleries among which Nouvelles Images, Orez Mobil, Liesbeth Lips, Pulchri Studio’s and Qua Art/Qua Science. Besides the work in his studio he has always taught; with a lot of joy and love for the profession he taught many students. Throughout the years he became more recognised as a painter. For his painting Arnhem, he received the ArtiBrak Gallery price in 2012 in Voorburg.

Fransje Tacx, colleague artist - Wassenaar

“In the end, it seems as though he detaches from the spaces, the areas that he remembered. Presumably, when you realise that you're no longer in a possition to make decisions about your future, and when you surrender to that, the memory loses it's purpose. And that tremendous amount of light can arise, such as in ‘Dutch Delight’ and ‘Utrechtsebaan’ was announced and in ‘Reformed Light’ was perfected.”

Hans Muiderman, writer - The Hague, 2014