aaldrik harkema

(hoogeveen, nl, 1938)

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in the seventies of the 20th century, aaldrik harkema almost exclusively made etching.

topic: the czar peter street in amsterdam (nl) where he lived and where his studio was .

the subjects were lying on the street: demolition, overdue maintenance, waste, rubbish, and the pavement with everything on and on.

almost photographically realistic ....

all etchings are in the possession of the city archives (stadsarchief) of amsterdam (nl) and some in the possession of the municipal (stedelijk) museum in amsterdam (nl).

in the eighties and nineties was the subject of his interest 'waste'.

the ‘dappermarkt’ market in amsterdam (nl) after 5 pm when the market is over, delivered a range of topics: piles of empty boxes, trash, plastic bags, rotten fruit etc.

aaldrik harkema intensively photographed all that and processed them in his workshop to becoming increasingly abstract paintings; gouaches and oils.

however the original topic remained visible.

however, the expression came to be more and more in shape, color, composition, structure, and less and less in the subject as such.

it was therefore a logical and inevitable way to full abstract.

aaldrik harkema lived alternately in france and amsterdam (nl).

in the village where he lived in the corbières (fr), were brilliant landfills.

also here (in the absence of the amsterdam (nl) ‘dapper’-market) he found his subjects.

after travelling through iceland in 2005 aaldrik harkema felt the need to terminate his ‘waste-series’ and to continue to work more abstract.

the iceland landscapes lent themselves perfectly for this: vulcanic rocks in all kinds of dark blues, blacks, greys and browns.

the forms and structures naturally came to mind and the way to greater abstraction was obvious.

the composition remained, as in the previous series, extremely important, but should become more simple: simple signs as it were, which provide in an eye rise a balanced and exiting field division.

paint, colour and structure are two other elements, which togehter with the composition form the expression of the painting.

‘the paintings of aaldrik harkema often seem to imply an inner discord.

there is friction between colour and non-colour, stillness and movement, worthless and valuable.

there seems to be a link, to be a symbiosis between the humble and the higher.

if those are not metaphors!

but that is of no concern at all to aaldrik harkema.

he only knows that these are his forms.

and he is vaguely aware or their content.

which in the depth sure will have to do with himself.

if he would want to know that per se, he would go in analysis.

but rather let him continue painting instead.


by manuel claassen, visual artist (translated by dick bouwma)

aaldrik harkema

born in 1938 in hoogeveen (nl)

lives and works in amsterdam (nl)


1966-1968 royal academy of fine arts (koninklijke akademie voor beeldende kunst), the hague (nl)

1963-1965 school of applied arts (kunstnijverheidsschool) amsterdam (nl), illustratively


in the netherlands among others  in:

amsterdam: gallerie de tor, kunsthandel ina broerse, galerie amsterdam, galerie novante nove, oosterkerk, kunstkerk, funengalerie

hoogeveen: de tamboer

maastricht: s.b.k. bonnefantenmuseum

putten: gemeentehuis putten

soest: galerie de steenlinde

in france among others in:

le barcarès, narbonne

gallery 9 presents the works of aaldrik harkema since 2014

2014 jubilee exhibition 25 years gallery 9 in the galerie

2014 jubilee presentation 25 years gallery 9 on raw art fair in rotterdam (nl), art breda in breda (nl) and kunstrai in amsterdam (nl)

2014 raw art fair, rotterdam (nl)

2014 art breda, breda (nl)

2014 kunstrai, amsterdam (nl)

2014 summer exhibition in the gallery

2015 rotterdam contemporary art fair, rotterdam (nl)

2015 early spring exhibition in the gallery

2015 art breda, breda (nl)

2015 late spring exhibition in the gallery

2015 kunstrai, amsterdam (nl)

2015 a-a-f (after art fairs) expositie in the gallery

2015 summer exhibition in the gallery

2015 exhibition together with bilal chahal and henk van putten in the gallery


the works of aaldrik harkema are included in private collections and several national and international collections among others in the collections of:

city archives (stadsarchief), amsterdam (nl)

municipal museum (stedelijk museum), amsterdam (nl)

ministry of education culture and sciences (ministerie van ocw), the hague (nl)