Henk Helmantel – Master Painter in Drents Museum

• Henk Helmantel, The most Dutch Still life, 2019, oil on panel, 122 x 185 cm. Henk Helmantel Private collection. Photo: Art Revisited, Tolbert

This autumn, fans of Henk Helmantel’s work will be able to revel in an exhibition that the Drents Museum is devoting to this leading artist. Henk Helmantel – Master Painter will focus on the artistry and craftsmanship of this painter from Drenthe’s neighbouring province Groningen from 3 October 2020 to 7 March 2021. Helmantel is nationally and internationally renowned for his masterfully painted still lifes and church interiors. Some 60 paintings by Helmantel will be on view in the Drents Museum’s large exhibition hall.

Director Harry Tupan: ‘Because of the coronavirus pandemic we recently rescheduled our Frida Kahlo exhibition to the autumn of 2021. In the short time left to us, we had to come up with a new programme to fill the resulting empty slot in the period October 2020 to March 2021. The plan to organise a Henk Helmantel exhibition was already in place. His work has a strong connection with our holdings of contemporary figurative art. The Helmantel exhibition we mounted in 2004 was a great success and a sequel was on the cards. This exhibition is an opportunity to show not only known but also recent paintings by Helmantel and thus acquaint a new generation with his work.’

Known at home and abroad
Henk Helmantel (Westeremden, 1945) trained at the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen from 1961 to 1965. He belongs to the group of ‘Northern Figurative Painters’ and is regarded as one of the leading artists of the Contemporary Realism movement. His paintings are appreciated in the Netherlands and far beyond its borders. At home, Helmantel’s work has been exhibited in the Singer Laren, the Rembrandthuis and Museum More, among other venues. Abroad, his paintings have been shown in the United States, Germany, England, Italy and France, Indonesia and most recently in Taiwan. Helmantel lives and works in Westeremden. His exhibition space ‘De Weem’ in the northern Groningen village of Weerdorp attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Special combination
Helmantel’s work has a strong bond with the Drents Museum’s collection of contemporary figurative art. Following the successful show devoted to the artist in 2004, the Drents Museum is once again organising a major Helmantel exhibition, this time with a selection of the best of his oeuvre, ranging from early to recent paintings, some of which have never been exhibited before. The special combination of his paintings with the objects – medieval wood sculptures, antique Chinese pottery and Roman glass – from Helmantel’s personal collection depicted in them affords visitors greater insight into his artistry. The exhibition also features the short documentary Henk Helmantel – Driven by beauty, produced in collaboration with the Harms Rolde Collection. The exhibition was designed by Studio Berry Slok, Amsterdam.

Experience Helmantel
Helmantel’s world is about inspiration and craftsmanship, light and dark, the rendering of texture, and stillness and spirituality. The experience of Helmantel’s work is particularly valuable in these times of standing still, distance and contemplation. Henk Helmantel – Master Painter devotes special attention to the experience of Helmantel’s work. As a visitor you can view the paintings in peace, sometimes even sitting down. You can engage on a deeper level with them thanks to various look-and-see tips and by listening to music from Helmantel’s studio with your own smartphone and headphones. You can also respond more actively and make your own drawing amidst these works of art. For families there is a free family route along all the works with look, do, think and play assignments.

To ensure availability, please order your tickets online. We are only allowed to welcome a limited amount of visitors. By ordering your ticket online, you are ensured of entrance at a moment chosen by yourself. Purchase your tickets at www.drentsmuseum.nl/en