RONALD A. WESTERHUIS

The definition of artistry is continuously subject to change. If the creators of the pyramids in ancient Egypt were nameless servants of their god-like pharaoh, then Rubens and Rembrandt were, despite their fame, in essence no more than servants of their various patrons, entirely dependent on them for commissions. In romanticism, however, we see how the arts emancipate themselves and become supply, instead of demand, led. The artist is dominant and sets the agenda, his clients are moneyed citizens who want to feed upon his genius and art becomes autonomous.

The variations between the two poles sketched here are endless and the study of the artist and his role in the world are sources of permanent fascination.

Ronald A. Westerhuis is an artist whose participation in this discourse is remarkable. He came from the offshore oil industry and built rigs, from where he derived his penchant for steel and large dimensions in the arts. What makes him unique is that he apparently travels back and forth with ease between Asia and Europe, between Shanghai and Zwolle. It doesn’t seem to matter where he is and with whom he works or does business. Perhaps it’s because in both continents his work never fails to be appreciated. He also has a completely down to earth attitude with regards to its autonomy. He creates what he thinks is beautiful but, at the same time, he selflessly allows his clients to assert their taste, which he works into his art in one large ‘joint venture’.

After three years of travelling backwards and forwards between Biddinghuizen and the castle garden, Westerhuis’s work, RAWSOME!, now has a permanent place in the sculpture garden of the Nijenhuis. The imposing steel ball with a diameter of 4 metres stood at the LowLands music festival in 2010, 2011 and 21012. It was a joint investment by the festival and Museum de Fundatie. A real commission where Ronald A. Westerhuis was given the task to create a work of art that would work just as well at a busy festival as in a quiet garden for sculptures. The concave and convex mirrors were the ideal backdrop for a bombardment of selfies at both locations.

Ronald A. Westerhuis polished a characteristic ‘skin’ on four monumental sculptures by Daniel Liebeskind, which were destined for the universal exhibition Expo Milano 2015 in Milan. He is also working on a series of work inspired by the ancient Chinese scholar rocks. I am convinced that Westerhuis’s artistry, which has been included in private and corporate collections as well as that of the Museum de Fundatie, will continue to take surprising turns in the years to come, and I look forward to it.

Ralph Keuning
Director, Museum de Fundatie

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BIOGRAPHY

PROJECTS

2019  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture VU Medical Hospital Amsterdam

2018  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture Deltares Delft

2018  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture Bernardus Golfcourse Cromvoirt

2018  |  China
Sculpture Shu Xiang Men Di Shanghai

2017   |  The Netherlands
National Monument MH 17 Vijfhuizen

2016  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture LIQUID Lowlands Festival

2015  |  Italy
Sculpture WINGS World Expo in Milan

2014  |   China
Sculpture NEW LIFE Jing An Sculpturepark Shanghai

2011  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture RAWSOME! Museum de Fundatie Zwolle

2008  |  Norway
Project GLOBAL PEACE ENERGY

2008  |  China
Design OLYMPIC FLAME Beijing

2007  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture WATERDROP Drents Overijsselse Delta Zwolle

2007  |  The Netherlands
Sculpture PRIDE Shell Amsterdam

 

EXHIBITIONS

2018  |  The Netherlands
Solo SIZE DOES MATTER Museum de Fundatie Zwolle

2017  |  United States
Context K+Y Gallery Miami

2017   |  The Netherlands
Solo COLOR Mark Peet Visser Gallery ’s-Hertogenbosch

2017  |  United States
Los Angeles Art Fair K+Y Gallery Los Angeles

2017  |  Mallorca
Groupshow Gerhardt Braun Gallery Palma

2016  |  Germany
Art Cologne Mark Peet Visser Gallery Köln

2017  |  China
Context K+Y Gallery Hong Kong

2016  |  The Netherlands
Solo STARDUST, Mark Peet Visser Gallery ’s-Hertogenbosch

2016  |  The Netherlands
Solo ENERGIZER, Project 2.0 Gallery The Hague

2015  |  China
Sculpture Exhibition Blue Qingdao

2015  |  Germany
Art Cologne Mark Peet Visser Gallery Köln

2014  | Belgium
Solo Bogert Gallery Knokke

2014  |  China Shanghai Art Fair, Purple Roof Gallery Shanghai

2013  |  China
RAWSOME! – the Retrospective, RiverSouth Shanghai

2013  |  China
Shanghai Art Fair Purple Roof Gallery Shanghai

2012  |  China
Studio Christian de Laubadére Shanghai

2012  |  China
Dutch Design Work, Consulate of the Netherlands, Shanghai

2011  |  United States
Sculpt Miami

2011  |  United States
Scope Miami

2011  |  The Netherlands
Solo RAWSOME! Museum de Fundatie Zwolle

2010  |  United States
Sculpt Miami

 

COLLECTIONS

The Netherlands  |  Museum de Fundatie Zwolle
United States  |  Daniël Libeskind
Monaco  |  SAS Prins Albert of Monaco
Jordan  |  Royal Family of Jordan
United States  |  Oma Taylor Russell
The Netherlands  |  Wolfkamp
Belgium  |  Van den Berghe
The Netherlands  |  Royal Dutch Shell
China  |  Jack Ma
China  |  James Pan

ARTWORK

Apple

Stainless Steel 11.8″

Mirror

Stainless Steel 15.7″

Shine

Stainless Steel 7.8″
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