The Composite Whole of René Daniëls

Viewing Room

René Daniëls (*1950 Eindhoven NL) is a Dutch artist who focuses on drawing and painting on paper.

In a 1983 interview with art critic Anna Tilroe, he himself described his working process as a form of ‘ automation’, with the same shapes reappearing in a whole series of paintings – something beyond his control, and happened naturally. Daniëls was more concerned with the composite whole rather than any single element.

This Untitled work from 1983 demonstrates this automative process, where the composition defies the viewer the opportunity to focus on any one feature, and lines change and morphe through the page. Just when one thinks they can make out a shape – a figure, a face, a word- it morphs into something unrecognisable. Instead, the page must be processed as a whole. The red and pink hues saturating the page further contribute to the sense of unease, sometimes the tone of flesh, other times the bright shade of warning or danger.

René Daniëls | Untitled | 1983 | watercolor and gouache on paper | 41.5 x 30 cm