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Albert Zwaan Main Profile Image

© Albert Zwaan

Albert Zwaan

Rotterdam/Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Painting • Born in Dordrecht, The Netherlands • Studied at Breda, The Netherlands

Published  13/03/2017   |   Updated  24/09/2021

painter

Albert Zwaan paints urban landscapes. Desolate-looking buildings, surrounded by a lush landscape or abstract, decorative patterns.
For Zwaan, painting is all about the proper proportions: the contrasts and harmonies between the various colours, the forms and use of paint are all reconsidered with every new canvas.
Zwaan has a striking palette in which soft, pastel shades are dominant. Colours reminiscent of cartoons, graffiti, and...

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Albert Zwaan paints urban landscapes. Desolate-looking buildings, surrounded by a lush landscape or abstract, decorative patterns.
For Zwaan, painting is all about the proper proportions: the contrasts and harmonies between the various colours, the forms and use of paint are all reconsidered with every new canvas.
Zwaan has a striking palette in which soft, pastel shades are dominant. Colours reminiscent of cartoons, graffiti, and weathered paint in old shipyards. In Berlin he saw gray East German GDR flats that were painted over in pastel shades in an attempt to give them a softer look. Or maybe he simply uses these colours because he likes them.
While painting, Zwaan listens to electronic music: ambient, minimal, German avant-garde. Its energy perfectly matches his painting; he combines images the way a DJ samples sound fragments. He also draws from art history: the expressionist touch of Francesco Goya and El Greco, the resplendent clouds of Philip Koninck; they are mixed with stills from commercials, images from shop windows and logos.
In his teenage years, Zwaan used to be a graffiti artist. He felt at home at the abandoned marshalling yards with concrete sound walls, where he walked around at night with his bag of spray cans. Even now, as a painter, he has a sharp eye for the beauty of the city fringes. Albert Zwaan transforms the gritty post-industrial urban environment into a friendly coloured dream world.

Albert Zwaan
Church of Dordrecht, 2020, oil on canvas ø 40x30cm

Church of Dordrecht, 2020, oil on canvas ø 40x30cm

Church, 2021, oil on linen, 40x30cm

Church, 2021, oil on linen, 40x30cm

untitled, 2021, oil on canvas, 24x18cm

untitled, 2021, oil on canvas, 24x18cm

Gebäude am Ausfahrt, 2021. Oil on linen, 120x100cm

Gebäude am Ausfahrt, 2021. Oil on linen, 120x100cm

untitled, 2021, oil on canvas, 18x13cm

untitled, 2021, oil on canvas, 18x13cm

The N-3 near Dordrecht, 2021. il on linen, 120x100cm

The N-3 near Dordrecht, 2021. il on linen, 120x100cm

Vitrine Part 2, 2020. Oil on linen, 30x40cm

Vitrine Part 2, 2020. Oil on linen, 30x40cm

Etalage, 2021, oil on linen, 30x40cm

Etalage, 2021, oil on linen, 30x40cm

Landschaft mit einer Burg, 2021. Öl auf Leinwand, 25x30cm

Landschaft mit einer Burg, 2021. Öl auf Leinwand, 25x30cm

Huizen aan de Wieldrechtse Zeedijk, 2021. Vinyl Paint on paper, 6x9cm.

Huizen aan de Wieldrechtse Zeedijk, 2021. Vinyl Paint on paper, 6x9cm.

Page in a Dutch Art Catalogue, 2021

Page in a Dutch Art Catalogue, 2021

Holiday Vibes ! 2020. Oil on linen, 30x24cm

Holiday Vibes ! 2020. Oil on linen, 30x24cm

Kerkje in Dubbeldam, 2021. Gouache on paper, 12,5x17cm

Kerkje in Dubbeldam, 2021. Gouache on paper, 12,5x17cm

N3 Ring near Dordrecht, 2020. Oil on linen, 40x30cm [private collection]

N3 Ring near Dordrecht, 2020. Oil on linen, 40x30cm [private collection]

Winterlandschaft mit einer Villa, 2019. Oil on linen, 20x30cm

Winterlandschaft mit einer Villa, 2019. Oil on linen, 20x30cm

Residential Tower, 2020 4th state. Etching, Ø 23x16,5cm

Residential Tower, 2020 4th state. Etching, Ø 23x16,5cm

Shop window at night in 1938. Oil on linen, 2019, 30x40cm

Shop window at night in 1938. Oil on linen, 2019, 30x40cm

Dutch Landscape with apartment buildings, 2019. Oil on linen, 30x40cm.

Dutch Landscape with apartment buildings, 2019. Oil on linen, 30x40cm.

Huizen aan de Singel, 2020. Lefranc vinyl paint on paper, 24x18cm

Huizen aan de Singel, 2020. Lefranc vinyl paint on paper, 24x18cm

Courtyard, 2020. Pencil on paper, A5 format

Courtyard, 2020. Pencil on paper, A5 format

Soccer Grandstand, 2019. Oil on linen, 30x40cm

Soccer Grandstand, 2019. Oil on linen, 30x40cm

Pool, 2019, oil on linen, 18x24cm

Pool, 2019, oil on linen, 18x24cm

Randstad Suburbs, 2019. Watercolor and gouache on paper, size: 31x23cm

Randstad Suburbs, 2019. Watercolor and gouache on paper, size: 31x23cm

landscape, 2019. oil on linen, 30x40cm

landscape, 2019. oil on linen, 30x40cm

Terraced Houses, 2019. Oil on linen, 50x100cm

Terraced Houses, 2019. Oil on linen, 50x100cm

Untitled drawing. Pencil on paper, 2019, 28x21cm.

Untitled drawing. Pencil on paper, 2019, 28x21cm.

Nachtegaalplatz, 2020. Oil on panel, 31x26cm.

Nachtegaalplatz, 2020. Oil on panel, 31x26cm.

6 mini etchings on 1 sheet, 2021

6 mini etchings on 1 sheet, 2021

Huizen in de Vogelbuurt, Dordrecht, 2018. Oil on linen, 100x120cm

Huizen in de Vogelbuurt, Dordrecht, 2018. Oil on linen, 100x120cm

Walk through Dordrecht, 2017, 30 x 40 cm, oil on linen [private collection]

Walk through Dordrecht, 2017, 30 x 40 cm, oil on linen [private collection]

Kerk achter het station, 2018. Oil on linen, 30x40cm. [private collection]

Kerk achter het station, 2018. Oil on linen, 30x40cm. [private collection]

Houses in South East London, 2019. Etching/drypoint, 15x20cm

Houses in South East London, 2019. Etching/drypoint, 15x20cm

Hybrid, 2020, 40x25cm, etching on Hahnemuhle paper.

Hybrid, 2020, 40x25cm, etching on Hahnemuhle paper.

Mini painting in an antique 1921 frame. Title: Huis aan de Reeweg 2021, vinyl paint on paper, 6,5x4,5cm.

Mini painting in an antique 1921 frame. Title: Huis aan de Reeweg 2021, vinyl paint on paper, 6,5x4,5cm.

Lockdown, 2020. Goache on paper, 24x18cm

Lockdown, 2020. Goache on paper, 24x18cm

House in the Biesbosch, 2020. Vinylpaint on wooden panel, framed, 19x24cm, study

House in the Biesbosch, 2020. Vinylpaint on wooden panel, framed, 19x24cm, study

Contact with my Galaxy, 2020. Oil on linen, 24x18cm

Contact with my Galaxy, 2020. Oil on linen, 24x18cm

Butterfly Duck, 2020. Etching, 30x20cm ø

Butterfly Duck, 2020. Etching, 30x20cm ø

Dutch House house framed with graffiti, 2015/2018. Oil on canvas, 40x30cm

Dutch House house framed with graffiti, 2015/2018. Oil on canvas, 40x30cm

Winter landscape with Dutch house, 2016, 18x24cm

Winter landscape with Dutch house, 2016, 18x24cm

Gebouw aan de Buitenwalevest, 2015. 45 x 35 cm, oil on linen

Gebouw aan de Buitenwalevest, 2015. 45 x 35 cm, oil on linen

Anachronistic Hybrid 2020 - Pencil & vinylpaint on cardboard, framed behind glass, 45x37 cm.

Anachronistic Hybrid 2020 - Pencil & vinylpaint on cardboard, framed behind glass, 45x37 cm.

Het rustende meisje, 2020. Vinyl paint on cardboard/ in classic wooden frame, 25x17,5 cm

Het rustende meisje, 2020. Vinyl paint on cardboard/ in classic wooden frame, 25x17,5 cm

Church Tower, 2018. Oil on linen, 18x24cm.

Church Tower, 2018. Oil on linen, 18x24cm.

untitled (house/neighbourhood store) 2018. Oil on linen, size: 50x60cm.

untitled (house/neighbourhood store) 2018. Oil on linen, size: 50x60cm.

Yard, 2018. Oil on linen, 100x120cm

Yard, 2018. Oil on linen, 100x120cm

Dutch Dike House II, 2015/2017 Oil on linen, size: 30x40 cm Dijkhuisje aan de Buitendams, Hardinxveld-Giessendam (private collection)

Dutch Dike House II, 2015/2017 Oil on linen, size: 30x40 cm Dijkhuisje aan de Buitendams, Hardinxveld-Giessendam (private collection)

Nachtigallplatz, 2018. Etching, 24,5x19,5 cm

Nachtigallplatz, 2018. Etching, 24,5x19,5 cm

Houses in Krispijn, 2020, etching, 15x19,5 cm

Houses in Krispijn, 2020, etching, 15x19,5 cm

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

It's located in a rural scenic environment but in the vicinity of Randstad cosmopolitan life.

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

The sound of ambient and electro, which I alternate with dub and dancehall, but with dub you have take some errors in account. It is quite distracting sometimes. A collection of old etchings hangs on the wall in the side room. When I look outside, I see the old harbor surrounded by Dutch 17th century houses.

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

Oil, I like the slowness of it, the slowness and matter which determines her own zeitgeist. Butt I also use, acrylics, vinyl paint, gouache, aquarel and ink

What themes do you pursue?

Architectural subjects in a natural setting, mixed with pop culture and graffiti. Or I make a reference to a geometric abstraction from art history whatsoever, and mixed that with traditional scenic compositions.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

Paint for yourself at your own pace. Be happy with it.

If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?

Wherever contemporary painting is appreciated and receives a warm welcome.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

A landscape with a house by Vinny ! Dutch King Vincent van Gogh but a thick, oil matter, "Matthias Weischer" will also gets a warm welcome in my life !

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

Probably an art dealer, an antique dealer, dealer in classical (old modern) painting, prints and ceramics. I love auction houses and old stuff.

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

Terraces, drinking a couple of Belgian beers , and cycling through the countryside, visit museums and big European cities.


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2018

Cityscapes - Teekengenootschap Pictura (solo.)

GROUP

2019

Vincent inspireert - Vincent van GoghHuis Zundert (group.)

Gorkums Museum - Culturele Route Gorinchem

Art The Hague - PopInArt

WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Bas Kuiper Collection http://baskuiper.com/About_Me.html

Collection Dordrechts Museum https://www.dordrechtsmuseum.nl/

Dela Collection

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GALLERIES

Galerie Nasty Alice | https://www.galerienastyaliceshop.nl/c-3485467/albert-zwaan/

PUBLICATIONS

AWARDS

2004 Nomination - Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst Paleis Amsterdam

2003 Rabobank Pictura Prize

2003 De Scheffer Prize https://www.verenigingdordrechtsmuseum.nl/de-scheffer/

EDUCATION (detailed)

1999 Academy of Arts St Joost, Breda

2001 Post St Joost, “Master of Art Program” Breda

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bachelor of Arts (BA) painting/printmaking

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