Hetty van der Linden

The Dutch artist Hetty van der Linden, who has won international acclaim for her lively figure paintings, performances, manuals and theatre sets, has that certain turn-on-a-dime twist of the wrist that her fellow countryman Willem de Koning imported to this country where he settled, became a citizen, and proceeded tot revolutionize American art. Like the abstract expressionist master himself, van der Linden has a gesture fluidity that can make her figure to seem shimmer and shake, even while retaining recognizable human features. For all their anatomical anomalies, her painted personages express a contagious quality of joy, rather than angst. Thus the title for her New York show “Moments of joy” which captures figures in the throes of life: dancing, cavorting on the beach, and otherwise comporting themselves in a celebratory manner. Her vibrant colours and dancing lines bring her painted people alive like characters in a film shoes gestures, movements, and surroundings evoke emotions with which one can readily identify. This, finally, is what makes this relatively young Duchy painter an extraordinary talent: in time when so much art has strayed far from its roots, Hetty van der Linden restores the human element to expressionism, enabling it once again to convey the immediacy and excitement of real life.