Lex Heilijgers is a Dutch painter and sculptor whose artwork reveals his fascination for the playful interaction between abstract and figurative. Whatever objects Lex observes around him, he analyzes them into their basic lines and forms and revives them on canvas or in stone. From origin a surrealistic and naturalistic painter, Lex gradually felt bound and limited by the requirements of naturalistic painting. He experienced this style of painting as a barrier to his artistic expression and possibilities. Lex had, as it were, to refind himself as an artist. Seeking more simplicity, he started to paint statue-like figures, buildings, townscapes, landscapes and still-lives in an abstract but still recognizable form. His interest in architecture made Lex start travelling to southern Europe during the last ten years. Especially little towns and villages built against hills in a sun-drenched Mediterranean setting, the rhythm of their houses and faded walls appeal to his imagination. Back home, pencil drawings and drafts, and pictures made during his trips on site, serve as a starting point for the paintings. Another challenge wherein line, form and colour are equally important, are his abstract still-lives. All his life Lex has shown a great interest in sculpture. Gradually, he took up the challenge to make sculptures himself. Working in a three-dimensional way was new and appealing to him. Whatever sculpture Lex makes, he insists that the spectator is able to look at it from all sides. Although being abstract sculptures, anatomical lines and proportions remain essential. An important source of inspiration for these sculptures are the silhouettes of nomadic people and wooden figures and ancestor statues of African tribes, like the Dogon. He has to work in private and is very conscientious. He is not easily satisfied and is most critical for himself. He can put a painting or sculpture aside for some time and pick it up later to make changes or even to repaint or remodel it entirely. He will never part with a painting or sculpture which is not finished in his eyes. But at a certain point, he is convinced that the painting, sculpture or any other work whatsoever is finished. When a painting or sculpture is finished, it needs no words to be explained.
Biographical and professional notes: Lex Heilijgers was born in Driebergen, the Netherlands, in 1949. He is largely autodidact but also received training at Artibus, the Academy of visual arts in Utrecht, and at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In his free work Lex is inspired by artists like Georges Braque, Richard Diebenkorn, and Marino Marini.