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 Julien van Middendorp

Julien van Middendorp is a Dutch painter, renowned for his large-scale oil paintings, in which the colours combine and mingle to form relationships and to create thoughts, fantasies and messages. Colours, basically, are only labels for different wavelengths of light. In that sense, colours “only” represent degrees of quantity. However, on Middendorp’s paintings colours became essential qualities.


A colour, not a line, is the primary constitutive moment of the (ever-changing) structure of the world. This is a crucial discovery made by Cézanne, van Gogh, Monet and others in the 19th century, and very thoroughly investigated by artists of the 20th century. And this discovery has kept its relevance until now. Julien van Middendorp has always been aware of and has reflected this challenging journey of liberating colour from shapes and figures and, in fact, dissociating a painting from representation of things.

His works are based on a perfectly constructed composition and the use of primary colours. This leads to the engagement of the viewer’s sight, where colours are processed to form the resulting perceptions, emotions, and, possibly, even some kind of behaviour. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “the painting created by an artist is in the eye of the beholder.”

As far as the topic is concerned, Julien is bountifully inspired by the urban life, its movements, flows and changes. The urban universe provides his paintings strong organic dynamics.

What is very positive about Julien’s works is its friendliness to those viewers who have not yet made their essential decision to try to step (or rather jump) across the abyss between the concrete and the abstract. While Julien’s paintings are basically abstract, a viewer, standing in front of them, can mitigate his or her feeling lost or baffled by anchoring in the safe haven of the concrete: figures, landscapes, harmonies and music. But with the bonus of seeing and appreciating abstraction at the same time.

Already since his childhood, Julien van Middendorp has experimented with large-scale drawings and watercolours. Later, he studied at the Nimeto, school of design in Utrecht, Netherlands. He has been living and working in Prague for a couple of years now, finding fresh inspiration in the local culture. 

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