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Johan Abeling (1953, Emmen)

Academie Minerva, Groningen (1972-1978)
Teachers i.a. Wout Muller en Barend Blankert.

Johan Abeling's paintings stand out for their mysterious atmosphere. The total desolation in his images creates a quality of air so strange as to appear imaginary. He often paints the vast northern Dutch landscape in which he inserts old Dutch-style villas, gates or border fences.

He is fascinated by the emptiness and silence of these northern landscapes and tries to create, with a minimum of objects, an enigmatic mood. All the elements, he uses are derived from reality, but not in the combination that can be seen in his paintings. In this way he creates a private world that only exists in his imagination.

Abeling states “ My work is about creating an atmosphere, playing with composition and light – the timeless feeling that atmosphere can evoke for me while I’m working. My paintings have their own personalities, their own stories and emotion. One can also see them as a moment of respite in a turbulent world where there is almost no time for contemplation. But there is also a disorienting quality in the quiet”

Abeling is a master at applying sfumato, a technique of overlapping several layers of transparent paint and softening tones and outlines into one another so the look of diffuse and filtered light is created. This technique was first applied by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century and Abeling uses it to increase the mysterious effect in his paintings.

Ellen Bertrams (curator ING Collection)


"Realismus aus Groningen", Cat. Vriescheloo, 1982

"Johan Abeling: Vlagtwedde helpt BKR om zeep", Winschoter Courant, 24 juni 1982

"The Refined Image, aspects of Dutch New Realist Painting", Galerie Lieve Hemel Editions, Amsterdam, 1985

"Sfeer", Friggo Visser, Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, 13 april 1990 Jaargids '91/'92, 100 jonge Nederlandse schilders, Living Art, Amsterdam, 1991

"Aan het Reitdiep", Jaffe Vink, Trouw, 3 januari 1992

"15 jaar Wiek XX", Cat. Kraaypoel, Jellema, Visser, Groningen, 1992

"Landhuis van Johan Abeling", Carolien de Boer, De agenda nr 12, Dienst kunst en cultuur, gemeente Groningen, 1992

"Groei", Friggo Visser, Nieuwblad van het Noorden, 16 april 1993

"Jaargids 1993, 100 jonge Nederlandse schilders", Uitgeverij Living Art, Amsterdam, 1993

"Kleine Formaten" (cat.), Amsterdam, 1994

"Met Engelengeduld" (The Patience of a Saint-Mit Engelsgeduld-Une Patience d'Angel), 25 jaar galerie Lieve Hemel, Amsterdam, Uitgave Lieve Hemel,1995

"Met engelengeduld, 25 jaar galerie Lieve Hemel", drs. Titia Kloos, Kunstwerk, april/mei 1995

"Lokaal Galerie Wiek XX", Erik Bos, Nieuwblad van het Noorden, 22 september 1995

"Dichtbeelden CO Jellema en 30 kunstenaars", Galerie Wiek XX, Groningen, 1995

"Rondom Mesdag", Beate Verschuur, Tableau, dec. 1996

"Niet de vorm maar de poezie", Erik Bos, Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, 15 maart 1996

"Figuratieven uit de stal van Wiek XX", Galerie Wiek XX, 1996

"Jonge realisten uit gal. Wiek XX in Drents Museum", Friggo Visser, uitgave Galerie Wiek XX, Drents Museum, 1996

"De ING collectie - een selectie (cat.)", Amsterdam, 1998

"Art in the Office", Amsterdam 2006 (ING collectie)

“Bewegend Licht”, interview in het magazine Atelier, David Veltman, 2006

"Johan Abeling, Zwijggend Land (cat.)", Galerie Lieve Hemel, Amsterdam, 2007

"Natuurlijk, Nederlandse figuratieve kunst, 1970-2010", Drents Museum, Assen, 2010

"Poetsandartists #53", curated by Marina Press, 2014

"Painting in Acrylics", The Indispensable Guide, Lorena Kloosterboer, Firefly Books, 2014

"Enigmatic Moods and Private Worlds", Andrew Webster, Fine Art Today, oktober 2015


ING collection
Museum van Lien, Fijnaart
Museum De Buitenplaats, Eelde
Drents Museum, Assen
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar