Biography Gerriet Postma

Gerriet Postma, born 30th october 1932 in Twijzelerheide, Friesland,

Postma puts his heart and soul into his paintings. He is not so much concerned with beauty as with sincerity. A good painting is an honest painting, born from an undiluted urge for expression. And that means not only charging yourself with energy and drive, but also to be open to the darker side of life, to the shadow part that makes you vulnerable. One by one Postma has explored the barriers to his soul, and his paintings have become freer, wilder and fiercer in consequence. But there is more. Postma's method does not only reflect the most private expression of the most private emotions, but also a quest for the secret behind the material, for the effects of different layers of paint, for tension opposed to balance.

Even after he turned sixty Postma was always exploring new possibilities, especially if it had serious undertones. In 1992 Postma painted a plexiglass panel measuring twelve by two metres in the former video pavilion at the Hereplein in Groningen. With this painting Postma had acquired a new taste. And soon another project emerged on an even larger scale. Painting the sails of a ship was an idea Postma had been toying with for quite some time...and so he did.

The vessel found to meet the purpose was the Friesian 'maatkast' De Ideaal, a two-master with 260 square metres of sail surface. Postma painted the sails on both sides, assisted by several art school students. On the fiery red topsail Gerriet Postma put his signature to his 'sailing picture', witch sailed the Frisian waters in July and August 1994 and then set out for Amsterdam and Terschelling. The large painting under the Museum Bridge in Groningen was the fulfillment of yet another wish.

With his 'mega-paintings' Gerriet Postma had clearly established a reputation for himself, which led to a request on behalf of TROS, one of the main Dutch broadcasting companies, to do large painting for Frank Sinatra, who was ill at the time. Postma made a painting of fifteen by five metres. This painting was transported by air, attached to a plane, accompanied by the text: A monument for Frank Sinatra and floated over Hollands highest building the Euromast in Rotterdam. The painting now forms an integral part of the Euromast building.

Gerriet Postma likes big. Big, bigger, biggest. Postma is a man of big steps, a big mouth, and big gestures. But within these big gestures you can detect the small and the subtle. Opposed to the heavy brush stroke there is the light and tender touch, in a universe of lines and layers. This cautious and tentative approach is especially brought out in Gerriet Postma's drawings, which show his sensitivity in all its pureness and simplicity. Grand, compelling, monumental – that is what Gerriet Postma wants to be. But tiny, vulnerable and sensitive as well. Because in the end the large can't do without the small.