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Hard-Edge Realism / “Train Depôt Doors” Netherlands, 1978

Realismo de borde duro / “Puertas del depósito del ferrocarril” Holanda, 1978

Hard-Edge Realism, 1977

An understanding of van der Grijn’s Hard-Edge Realism requires simple acknowledgement of its direct literal meaning. The subject matter of the paintings are road hazard signs, crash railings, crossing signs and also such warnings painted right on the rocks that pose the danger to the motorist. He forces us to look with a new respect on these signs with their shocking colour contrasts and their essential threats to our safety. We also realize their beauty.

Train Depôt Doors, 1978

The Train Depôt Doors, 1978, are actual-size reproductions of the yellow and black stripes van der Grijn encountered on actual Dutch train depôt doors. This was the ultimate expression of Hard-Edge Realism. It is significant that when you look at the paintings, they don’t seem to be in any way mechanical representations of reality, they seem like wonder-human touch. At the time, van der Grijn wrote: “With the Train Depôt Doors I’ve tried to recognize the challenge of hard-edge subjects pushed to their extremity of realism so as regard as the ingredients vital to my work. I was struck by their monstrous naïveté and I felt that the answer was to paint them as they stand”.