I walked into Jochen Hempel Gallery at Spinnerei and felt like it was just as it was supposed to be. The architectural lines of Theun Govers’s work matched the exposed beams in shape, size and even colour.
It was like he had painted them for the space or the space had been created for his work.
Once I met him I knew there was no way he would create anything for anywhere specific. He was creating from within himself. His cheeks were the same rose colour as the accent colour he painted. His hair was the same yellow ochre tinged neutral that was used throughout.
Govers seemed more like a carpenter than a painter. He uses the paint like building materials. It’s meticulous and lush.
But don’t be fooled; he’s no ordinary carpenter. He’s a craftsman of the highest artistry. He said the use of repetition is more than a visual decision. It’s a physical one as well. It takes him to a place of zen.
He admitted he had wanted to be an architect, but wasn’t into the precise math needed to produce sound structures. What kept him from creating buildings in the real world makes his other worldly work so interesting.
Govers creates a world that is minimal and modern without losing its warmth.
The geometry has character. It feels human in its flaws and successes.
In addition to the paintings was an installation of wood and panels. It created a space I wanted to be in. Interiors mingled with “under construction”. Curios in cabinets to draw you in. Found items amongst the new and the newly created.
A three dimensional realisation of a work in progress in the mind of a creator.
He speaks the language of his homeland.
While I can’t say I understand Dutch, I understand this language very well. I will never forget the first time I went to Amsterdam and saw its entire history as told in architecture.
The buildings from various periods sat next to each other like friends from different generations sitting on the train, laughing and chatting. None were trying to outdo the other. They were attempting to co-exist and enhance one another.
Theun Govers doesn’t create work you can live with. It’s work you want to live with.