Frank Dammers (Zwolle, 1951) shares with Mondriaan, and other artists who work in the spirit of the Bauhaus and painters of light, the desire to give expression and form through his art to the ideology of a better world. His fascination for architecture is evident in the geometric and balanced nature of his composition, wherein each area of color appears to inhabit its natural place of the canvas. The intensity of his working methods attests to his predisposition towards confronting challenge and his refusal to take the easy route. He creates tableaux that are immediately recognizable, in contrast to many of his geometric-abstract colleagues. Dammers composes city silhouettes that are easily traced back to their point of inspiration. We recognize the skyline of New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai and Dubai as readily as we identify the ‘and Art Heads and Central Park New York ‘captured in geometric patterns or the patchwork of colors that represents a pyramid. Dammers plays ingeniously whit space and perspective, thus inviting comparison with Esscher. His world is essentially too good to be true. Harmony, balance and adventure keep step with each other in paintings that are easy on the eye, and yet are equally extraordinary and often tantalizingly misleading.
It is unsurprising that the work of the Dutch painter Frank Dammers is received with such enthusiasm in the United States. This appreciation is not only due to the painter’s penchant for portraying the monumental skylines of American cities, but is also bred out of a shared mentality. The artist’s fascination whit the impressive modern architecture that is so typical of that land of innovation is a reflection of the positive energy that its cities exude.
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
The expression ‘Only the sky is the limit ‘would be appearing to be Frank Dammers’ motto. In spite of the many setbacks he has had to endure during his life, he has never lost his positive attitude. His is a kindred spirit to the fighter’s mentality exhibited by those who experienced personal tragedy as the result of the 9/11 attacks, and yet summoned up the energy and the indomitability to carry on. To Dammers, the USA is far more than the land of unlimited possibilities. He recognizes the desire to show the world that adversity exists to be conquered, and that one can emerge from the struggle as a stronger person. The ambition to reach the highest goals, coupled with this dogged determination, appeals to him enormously. These constructive and positive elements of the American character have found a resonance in the paintings of Frank Dammers.
Taking on fresh challenges. Choosing for a constructive approach, with no holds barred. Looking to harvest the maximum yield from each opportunity. Not being afraid to do things the hard way. Approaches to life are that are all characteristic of Frank Dammers. In 2004, he made acquaintance with a group of 9/11 survivors and relatives in Mexico, and felt a sense of identification with them. At the same time, he felt a potent desire to express this feeling through his art. This gave a new impulse to his painting that did not go unnoticed in the USA. From that moment on, the interest in his work on the other side of the ocean has reached great heights.
The most impressive discoveries are most often made when people dare to leave the beaten track. To date, Frank Dammers’ path in life has certainly not been smooth. He has been chastened by adversity, and to good effect. The story of his life could fill at least one novel; a new chapter has been added practically every day since he took his first steps in the world of depictive art. Although there is no direct thematic relationship between Dammers’ work and his life story, it is evident that his artistic oeuvre is directly related to his mien and character.
In 2002 Frank started to paint. Heretofore, he had paid a little attention to his creative talents, in spite of there being a number of famous artists on both sides of the family ( Hörburger / Dammers & Koning / Weijenberg ). After some initial experimentation, he arrived quite rapidly at a style that was reminiscent of Mondriaan and Paul Klee and more famous artists. Although it would be appropriate to classify Dammers work a geometric-abstract in nature, it should be noted that he has developed a singular approach to the genre. His compositions are developed intuitively, while at the same time making use of his mathematical knowledge and his ability constructively, both in the literal as in the figurative sense.
Frank Dammers applies principles of order to his work, with enormous diligence and extreme patience. He organizes his areas of color to the point that they form an image that is as true to the strictures of actual perception as to the unbridled imagination of the artist and his fervor for viewing reality in a positive and constructive manner.
Author: Wim van der Beek
Art critic and publicist