Hans Bouman - Introduction

In his Letters on Cézanne, Rainer-Maria Rilke wrote: "When one paints, one can, all of a sudden, come upon something so unfathomable that no-one will ever get through it."
Hans Bouman has trodden that path, a path from which the "unfathomable thing" has obsessively imposed itself – it is the human face, which both mirrors the other and is almost a mental self-portrait, a microcosm that symbolises the mind as opposed to the body, which is linked to matter. The head, which remains solitary, offers a face-to-face encounter; it questions us as we question it, and the answer may spring from the silent exchange – loaded with mystery.

  Bodies float in space, wandering in a world with no landmarks. Bodies trying to escape from the limits of the canvas. A quest made in the silence of the abysses where body and soul meet.
Hans Bouman goes back to painting, and acknowledges his bond to Expressionism. The representation of the human body remains the core of his work.



Still intrigued by the use of various materials to construct pictures, the opportunities offered by the computer lead him to a new form of expression, overlapping layers of digital print and painting. Thus, materials coalesce in works that explore the link between the infinitely small and their blown-up representation.


Hans Bouman turns to more fluid works, in which haphazardly arranged elements replace the dense and muffled matter. From paper that is crumpled, torn and stuck, shapes are surging, which may be references to his own pantheon of gods and goddesses.


He has made himself known thanks to his rigorous work on an almost single theme – the human face. These dark, sometimes stern images, painstakingly built from all kinds of materials, are not only pleasing to the eye, but raise for the one who beholds them the very questions that totems and other sacred figures have asked of worried men.

Alin Avila


His sculptures echo his paintings. They both issue from totemism, that is to say the representation of some kind of forebear. Either painted or sculpted, the image does not refer to figurative picturing. It is neither that of a man nor that of a woman.

Alin Avila