How do you catch motion in a painting? How can you record something as volatile as motion on canvas? Louis Nagelkerke told me once that he was experimenting painting eyes. An eye can be rendered very much into detail so that every line, every color shade, and every lightspot are recorded. An eye can also only be suggested by a single line. Something simular concerns motion. Motion in a painting can only be recorded by suggestion.
In the eighties and early nineties of the last century, 1980-1990, motion in the paintings of Louis Nagelkerke is mostly suggested by wellconsidered scratches and motion lines, which evoke a suggestion of motion for the spectator. Gradually we see an evolution towards looser, rougher work in which color and motion -or it's opposite stagnation. But stagnation always implies past or future motion- play an ever bigger part. This has to do with the personal evolution of the artist. His work becomes less realistic, shows more courage, more daring, less fear of not following the lines that have been laid before. Louis Nagelkerke tries more and more to strip down his painting to the essence and he leaves all superfluity behind.
This evolution temporary stopped due to some expositions in Indonesia. The Jakartan galery Louis works for asked him to paint as much in detail as possible. This should not surprise us, because for example the clothes of Balinese dancers have beautiful details and it is easily understood one likes to show these details in full. The artist granted the request, partly from a commercial point of view, but mostly to obtain more skills in detail painting. But it also provided a temporary stop in the evolution towards looser painting.
Meanwhile this all changed. The work of Louis Nagelkerke is again much more loose. He now paints what he himself considers important. He uses mixed media en with that the motion becomes prior again. Probably the artist explored what he realy stands for, what is most important to him, because of this period of detail painting. We can see that also in his Balinese inspired paintings. These paintings still show us the beautifull details of clothes and ornaments, but there is also an evolution towards more suggestion, motion and stillness.
Louis Nagelkerke went through an enourmous evolution. A healty amount of self-criticism is important during such an evolution. Nowadays Louis Nagelkerke is immune to criticism from all others but his wife. Before the outside world gets to see his work, he criticised it himself, knows the level of the work, what he still has to learn, but also that the work shows improvement. This continious improving is an important proces for him. This evolution keeps offering the artist new perspectives. If an artist should reach the end of his learning, all motion would stop and with that all art would disappear. As art-lovers we should be happy that Louis keeps on exploring new dimensions.
Dr. Pamela Eshuis