Ornis A. Gallery proudly presents new work of the Dutch artist Hans Lemmen (1959) in the exhibition ‘Hond en Horizonten’. The artist is known for his surreal drawings of desolate scenes where mythological characters appear. Lemmen studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Maastricht and started as a painter but developed an identifiable and remarkable drawing style. Over the years he refined his technique, he now primes the paper with casein that gives the paper a slight yellow appearance. Then Lemmen applies the ink, as he combines several figurative elements in his drawings. While he usually works within a 24 x 31 cm frame, he created a series of large drawings recently. Ornis A. Gallery is honoured to present Lemmen’s experiments on 91 x 105 cm for the first time, along a new series of smaller drawings.
The exhibition title ‘Hond en Horizonten’ (‘Dog and horizons’) refers to Lemmen’s personal life in Belgium. The hilly countryside that the artist walks through daily (accompanied by his dog), inspires him to sketch the surreal setting that appears in all his drawings. The Belgian landscape functions as a starting point for an imagined parallel universe full of hybrid figures. Fascinated by the friction between reason and intuition, Lemmen creates characters that embody both qualities. Deeply focused, each character alone executes a mysterious action. One man carries a large stone, in another drawing a figure cuts a book into half with an axe. Then there is a scene where a character stands in the water while an animal rests on top of a tent nearby. Both the yellow color of the primed paper and the indefinite scenes create a disorienting sense of timelessness. Only the electricity pylons, that inhabit some of the drawings as silent witnesses, reveal a hint of modernity. Like in a dream, Lemmen dislodges the logics of time and space, but leaves it to the spectator to decide what to believe.
The work of Lemmen has been exhibited in solo and group presentations at international venues, including Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam; Centre Atlantico Arte Moderne, Las Palmas; Het Domein, Sittard and Museum Kalkriese. His drawings and sculptures are represented in numerous collections, amongst others Het Domein, Sittard; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen; DSM-collectie and AZM Maastricht.