About the work

From the very first the filament running through Louis Swagerman’s work is a quest for the essence of mood and light. An early in-depth research into traditional painting methods resulted in realistic, detailed and highly finished portraits and landscapes, and in his first important exhibition at the Mokum gallery in Amsterdam in 1977. Gradually however, he moved towards a freer approach to painting and a new, more intense use of colour. He also discovered the remarkable possibilities offered by soft pastels in firing up his imagination.
From 1999 on his work shows a shift towards increased abstraction in which he concentrates on the evocationof infinite space, of quiet tension, natural order and monumentalcalm. A search for the power of restriction. In his more recent work the painterly exploration of light becomes apparent, with light and mood progressively evolving into an indivisible whole. Water, and especially the sea, is a significant source of inspiration. The sea as a bright mirror. Water as the all-encompassing element.
Besides his free painterly approach Louis Swagerman also takes commissions for portraits. An example of this is the portrait of actress Henny Orri hanging in the municipal theatre of Amsterdam.


Born: 1951, Hoorn

Education: self-taught

Techniques: oils, acrylics, soft pastels, colour crayons and etchings.


‘It is not the artist’s job to faithfully represent the sky, the water, the rocks and the trees. His creations should rather reflect his feelings and soul’.

Caspar D.Friedrich, 1774-1840