Dutch artist Joseph Cals (b.1949) utilizes paint in many different ways, applying it with brushes, palette knives or literally with his hands. He models, rubs out, and over-paints, and each form and colour finds its ultimate destination only after sustained deliberation. Cals’ artistic works follow the maxim “A painting never lies”; words from which he heard from his teacher Willem Minderman in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at The Hague.
Cals was born in 1949 in Stein, a small village on the Maas River in the southern part of The Netherlands. At age 17, Cals received the A.F.S. scholarship to study in the United States. There, he lived near Buffalo New York, with its renowned Albright Knox Gallery, known for its impressive collection of contemporary art. When Cals turned 19, he returned to The Netherlands and began studying in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at The Hague. It was one of the few institutes where a “classical” education in art was still offered. Cals began teaching at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at The Hague in 1975. He was commissioned to seven paintings for the Dutch Houses of Parliament in 1983-84. During the same period he was a Professor at Parsons Institute, New York, and at Carnegie Hall in 1986.
Cals is fascinated by light, which varies so much from city to city and in every landscape. Cals had travelled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta and Papua New Guinea and in his travels he developed new sources of inspiration.
Cals’ visit, when he was young to an excavation site of a prehistoric settlement in his hometown of Stein had an indelible impact on his creativity and imagination. He constantly wove imageing from the past and primitive societies into the present. For Cals, sculpture and painting are often complementary. These dimensional arts promote spatial thinking, while painting evokes ideas for composition, colour and proportion. The two disciplines overlap each other as each requires Balance, Equilibrium and Harmony. Cals lives and works in Amsterdam.