Autumn 2018

A representative selection of my work on the Regarding Sebald project went on display for the first time during the group exhibition “Gold under Ice” at Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam, from July 28 juli until August 25, 2018.

Regarding Sebald - July 12, 2018

The project Regarding Sebald progresses with no inkling of when, where and how it will come to a conclusion.

Several more paintings, drawings and watercolours have been finished within the project's context. Some of them are shown below and you will find the full overview under the sub-menu Works of this site: Paintings (from 2000) and Drawings and watercolours (from 2000).

Benaderingen van tropische vulkanen - Vanwege Sebald, 2018 Een herinnerde steen, een verplaatste berg - Vanwege Sebald, 2018 De zuigkracht van de leegte - Vanwege Sebald, 2017 Grand hotel Rockes Noire - Vanwege sebald, 2017 Het terugwijkend bos - Vanwege Sebald, 2017 Zoals een rog zweeft in de diepte - Vanwege Sebald, 2017

Due to my choice of subjects from Sebald’s work and my interpretations the results are once more diverse.

Let me try to explain this in some detail:

In Sebald’s work one encounters a great diversity in the ways in which he describes his observations and deliberations: accurate descriptions of walks through nature, villages or towns,or he loses himself in surprising comparisons or memories.

A quote from “The rings of Saturn” :

"There are indeed moments, as one passes through the rooms open to the public at Somerleyton, when one is not quite sure whether one is in a country house in Suffolk or some kind of no-man’s-land, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean or in the heart of the dark continent. Nor can one readily say which decade or century it is, for many ages are superimposed here and coexist.” (transl. Michael Hulse)

Are these ponderings on one single experience that which fascinate me? Certainly, more and more I feel the necessity for a form of unambiguousness in my work. In choice of subject as well as in the working out I am no longer bound to a pre-determined method. And where Sebald, in one observation allows time and place as it were to tumble together, I feel a warm feeling of affinity. As the way/the path, in taoism, is life itself, without determining the destination. (So succinctly and aptly described by René Ransdorp: “The way comes into being by taking it.”)

In en voorbij Bremerhaven - Vanwege Sebald, 2018 However, the abovementioned is not the only factor in Sebald’s work which induces me to work. For instance, in the poem “In the wakeful night...” (from “Across the land and the water”) an image is sketched of a man’s somewhat scared awakening in a hotel in Bremerhaven after which his thoughts as it were, rise and whirl away following the River Weser, while images from present and past appear and disappear. In this case the only option for me was to make a painting that attemps to literally follow the images and the river. The elongated, narrow work is titled “In and past Bremerhaven” and seems, more than other work based on Sebald’s writings, more illustrative. This in comparison to work which is based on only one observation, such as, for example, “ The pull of the void” (2016).

Regarding Sebald - Autumn 2016

The writer W.G. Sebald came into my life in about 2000. His work immediately gripped me and, after having read all his books, I was completely fascinated. Rereading, I felt the urge to start working with what I had assimilated.

Years ago, in the seventies and eighties, I had felt equally compelled after reading Franz Kafka and Witold Gombrowicz, resulting in many graphic works, drawings and paintings. I also produced a bibliophile folder of text fragments based on poetry by Wallace Stevens. These writers had a significant influence on my way of thinking and working.

Subsequently, many years followed in which my inspiration came mainly from landscapes observed in countries through which I travelled - Australia, Mongolia, China - but also from Zeeuws Vlaanderen in the South of The Netherlands, where I had a small studio until 2008.

Now, in 2016, literature once more motivates me. The work by the German writer W.G. Sebald (1944-2001) incorporates so much to stimulate me. His observations, at times during short or long walks, often evoke associations referring to history and to climatological, geological, historical and personal conditions, and make the use of them inevitable.

It is obvious! For those of you who are acquainted with my work - once again I feel a strong affinity with a writer and plan to spend the coming time working in various techniques under the title Regarding Sebald. You will not expect literal illustrations; Sebald offers me points of departure and impulses but the approach to my work will not change. During my travelling years, the landscapes I observed initiated my work, now Sebald's writings have the same purpose. I will travel as it were through that which he has written and there will find my inspiration.

Once again I hope that you will follow me on this new adventure.

Hans Landsaat, Autumn 2016


December 2016 - Regarding Sebald

The Rings of Saturn: An English pelgrimage

De zuigkracht van de leegte, aquarel 2016 De loochening van de tijd, aquarel 2016 Flaubert en het zand, aquarel 2016 Verplaatsing van de nacht over de wereld, aquarel 2016 Op het strand bij Lowestoft, aquarel 2016

November 2016 - Regarding Sebald

The Rings of Saturn: An English pelgrimage

Janine Dakyns' Flaubert, 2016 Zuigkracht van de leegte, 2016 In Lowestoft, 2016

January 2017 - Regarding Sebald

Op de grens van ..., 2017 Loochening van de tijd, 2017