Wim Snelders

Beyond reality

Wim Snelders tries to reveal worlds that cannot be described by every day answers or formulas. The secret of his paintings lies in ordinary things. There is no mise-en-scene; it’s is the sheer coincidence that fascinates him. A glance at a landscape, a river, a highway or a coincidental arrangement of materials form a starting point for him: a motive from which he proceeds. He tries to explore new dimensions; he tries to re-arrange things, apparently incompatible, in such an order that serenity and tension, motion and rest, light and darkness can easily exist simultaneously. The pure registration of a mathematical perspective is not important to him. It’s the world behind it that interests him: everything and nothing at the same time.
Light and movement play an important role in his work. An almost all-blinding light makes place for the evening coolness in the Tropics, or the hurrying masses of clouds, creating an ever changing perspective, which inspire him at home in Holland.

Lyrical abstractions

Architects ought to be a race of rationalists, mainly because of the very fast production in construction. Therefore, it is so important for them to add esthetical elements to their realism. In his paintings, Wim Snelders confirms the interaction between architecture and plastic arts. He makes pastel colours, sometimes in firm lines, which come happily together with the forms. He places the often geometric forms in a tense balance with the colours. Like Braque, Snelders is looking for ‘simplicity’. Whether he paints Greek houses, blazing under the sun, little boats floating in the river Amstel like chain links or the capricious plateaux at San Pedro, Curaçao, he distils a lyrical abstraction, much richer in human associations than geometrical art. He is looking for the space in relation to expressive linear constructions. (drs. Verele Engels, Director of the Curaçao Museum)

Recent work

Amstelveen “Buitenplaats Wester-Amstel” 25 August – 10 September 2017

 The abstract and at the same time figurative work of oil paintings and works on paper with mixed media, Wim Snelders shows in this exposition is dedicated to the River Amstel and its surrounding polders and landscapes. It has been originated in the early morninghours during spring. Sunrise in a fresh landscape inspired Snelders to use a bright and modest palette. In his approach he makes the images subject to refined and suggestive compositions and thus giving space to the viewer for a personal interpretation.


Curaçao “Landhuis Bloemhof”   8 March – 20 April 2017

In this special exhibition Wim Snelders shows a series of townscapes – paintings and collages – of the historic Inner City of Willemstad as well as a few surrounding landscapes. In his paintings the abstract and colourful layers convocate feelings giving impressions of hidden qualities in the day to day surroundings. In his collages with painted paper and ink he also used pieces from a brochure on walking trips that he developed some 25 years ago. This results in images abstracted in such a way that each (architectural) detail is becoming very powerfull. The realistic character of the architecture in Snelders’ work longs for the illusionistic, fictive, character of the art and vice versa. In the catalogue of his work the  Caribbean poet – Crisen Schirea was inspired to write a poem while the other way around Wim Snelders was inspired by Walter Palm’s poem  Otrobanda.


Vijfhuizen Kunstfort “Restaurant ’t Fort” 3 April – 1 September 2016

In this UNESCO monument, part of the Stelling of Amsterdam, Wim Snelders shows a collection of paintings of his Cornwall trip. The shown drawings and paintings originated from a walking tour with his two sons along the south and west coast. They are impressions of the edge of land and sea and are set in a limited palette of colours. They show the endlessness of seasides, powerful water works, embordered landscapes and intimate country lanes and townscapes.


Amsterdam “De Nieuwe Poort” 3 November – 1 February 2016 –

Wim Snelders shows his reflections on the Zuidas and the area south of Amstel Station in a series of paintings and graphic works. The works are built up of strong abstract and linear compositions which go together with free, sometimes graffiti-like, forms expressing formal and informal encounters. The works are on canvas and paper and set up in acrylics and mixed media in a restrained but strong palette of pastel shades.

The works reflect an almost close encounter between the formal architecture of offices and other buildings and the informal setting of public spaces with bicycles, scooters and other paraphernalia. This results in unexpected qualities of the environment.

Whilst working on these paintings Wim Snelders asked researcher Jacqueline Schoemaker to reveal her opinion on the use of urban space in the Zuidas and the area south of Amstel Station.

According to Jacqueline Schoemaker it remains to be seen however if a balance can be reached between the informal use and the formal urban and architectural planning or that the formal will further develop into an almost sterile environment.

In an especially to be announced talk in De Nieuwe Poort, Wim Snelders will give further background on his work and Jacqueline Schoemaker will give her opinion on the use of urban space in the Zuidas.


Amsterdam “Podium Mozaïek” 3 September – 1 November 2015 –

Wim Snelders has for quite some time been fascinated by the use of space in towns.  A planned, formal use of space appears in many places to go together with a kind of undetermined, informal and often unwanted use of space. Although this can produce interesting images of a town the question remains if this city-scene can endure the planning frenzy.  The more formal the urban space seems, the more disorderly the appearance of rashly parked bicycles become and how a game of football on the pavement turns into a nuisance.  A comparison with graffiti forces itself upon you. This kind of street art is primarily called a nuisance or will be, like art (Bansky) demolished from a street scene and will become part of someone’s art collection or museum collection.

Snelders’s paintings which can be seen in this exhibition have originated along the metro 51 route, a route Snelders often takes from his place of residency Amstelveen to Amsterdam.  Firstly there are images of the Zuidas’s formal buildings and open spaces with onward moving bicycles and graffiti. Followed by the undetermined spaces around the metro flyovers in Amsterdam South-East and the area around the Over Amstel Station which holds a promise for an urban area in which formal and informal can go, sustainably, hand in hand.

Besides the formal structures, which are abstract, linear and structured, we see in Snelders’s paintings the vague shapes and coincidences which, with the procedural, result into a for us known natural coherence.

The researcher Jacqueline Schoemaker will prior to the opening of the exhibition give an introduction on the understanding of informal use of space in towns.  Journalist and author Etienne Boileau will open the exhibition  and will make the links between the paintings and the relevance of the urban theme within the art of painting.


Cornwall –

In the summer of 2012 he went on a walking trip with his two sons along the coast of Cornwall – during this trip a new series of paintings came to about. Fascinating landscapes, sea-views, water works, typical small country lanes and townscapes inspired Wim Snelders to this new series of paintings. Set in a limited palette of colours these paintings focus on greatness.


Cote d’Azur –

‘Around Fayence 2012’ is the title of a series of small paintings which were created from sketches which were made during various walks around the village of Fayence in the Var (F).