By Yasmijn Jarram

The mostly colourful paintings and drawings of Erik Andriesse, who himself met with an early death, are characterised by an enormous sense of liveliness. Nature served as the most important point of departure for him: in particular, flowers were one of his favourite subjects. Sunflowers, amaryllises, lilies, magnolias, poppies and orchids: they seem to burst out of the canvas. Andriesse had an enormous admiration for artists such as Picasso, Dürer and Verster, who both inspired and challenged him.

There is also a darker layer to Andriesse’s oeuvre. Alongside the exuberant flowers, skulls, animals and (animal) skeletons can also sometimes be seen in his works. They are reminiscent of seventeenth-century vanitas paintings, which symbolise the passing of time and decay. In the end, however, the visual experience was more important to Andriesse than expressing a message or telling a story. He was more interested in how he painted, than what he painted.