Nickolaas Ischmar Cornelus Koos Willems is a double educated Dutch artist. Working in a unique manner, within the representational field, Willems uses the primitive medium of wood and fire to burn and scrape his art pieces into reality. A technique, in which large wooden panels serve as a canvas, heat and sandpaper as a brush of paint. This time-intensive process requires extraordinary patience and focus by working with the natural lines and unique textures of each wooden panel to create art pieces that also preserve the natural beauty of the material.
After studying at the ArtEZ contemporary Art Academy and graduated with distinction from the private Classical Art Academy for Painters in Groningen (NL), he combines these two educations to form and shape full-size art pieces.
Being recognized as an emerging young talent by the art gallery De Twee Pauwen in The Hague in 2017, the artist’s work was exhibited in several group shows, gaining popularity and catching the attention of contemporary art collectors in major European cities such as Berlin and London. In late 2019, his artworks were showcased in a series of exhibitions in China, including at the Shaanxi Province Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Xi’an. Which lead to being included into the permanent collection of the Xi’an Qujian Yin Art Museum in late 2022.
The natural beauty and sustainability of wood and fire fuel the connection between artistic expression and our surroundings, inspiring a sense of wonder and contemplation. Willems’ work explores themes of transience and time, reminding us of the impermanence of life while honouring the enduring beauty of the environment. “The majority of my work is about impermanence — that circle between life, death, and new life. This concept is empowered by the technique I use: wood and fire. The living and the perished.” (Fine Art Connoisseur Feb 19 – Full article here)
“Linger just a little bit too long at one place and all is lost. The patience of a saint, full concentration and a burning love, that’s what it’s all about.”
– Artist Ruud de Rode about Willems work