Hans Hartman

Hans Hartman (1963 – 2019)

Visitors of the threshold of Hans Hartman’s studio on the first floor of the Hoornbrekerstraat are called to a halt for a moment. A warm welcome by Hans invites the first curious person to take some steps forward, meanwhile the rear of the group is catching a glimpse of his impressive domain. Bright colours and substances of wet and dry paint on walls, ceiling, paper, pallet and the floor even on his painting clothes. The overpowering sight the amount of painted compositions commands everyone’s attention. On the easel the next piece on paper or canvas, usually “28 x 39 inches” parades. The industrious painter however always takes time for a new admirer, who in return has to immortalize that moment with a short entry in his guestbook.

This scene has repeated itself countless times. By now Hans greets the newcomer with a mixture of genuine hospitality and experienced routine. However he always succeeds in drawing everyone’s attention to himself and the painting. In this he is sincere and feels happy. A solitary, passionate painter and diligent worker, who asks for little more than paint and canvas and who permits outsiders to step into his world, albeit only to a limited extent.

At an early age Hans started his creative career, as a young artist with the “Maatwerk” theatre group in 1986. He loved being creative and five years later moved to work at the new Studio Herenplaats. During a day working with painter / musician Herman Brood Hans, a self-willed, unique and passionate artist, Hans was left very inspired.  Herman was an artist who appealed to Hans’ passion, uniqueness and his zest for work, in spite of the fact that Hans tired easily due to bad functioning valves of the heart. After a successful heart operation he revealed himself to a tireless painter, who  dedicated his work for a long time to his promise to God, his pillar in that difficult period in the hospital. Nearly each day Hans produces a painting in his studio, but it makes him even happier whenever he is able to make a monumental piece of art on a columns or a wall of an institute or a public building. The attention he draws from  admirers makes him genuinely glad and gives him confirm that he took the right path, proving him to be a great painter. His paintings seem monumental, not only on pillars, walls and ceilings, but breathe in general the same grandeur of the old masters of the Renaissance or the 17th century. Modest strict compositions or elaborate baroque images are translated in his own quick handwriting and according to his own view in coal on paper or canvas. Details may enlarged  and large forms or themes can be sent to the background. During the painting process, with an original bold colour pallet, theme and detail may again change roles. Hans does not allow himself a long time to critically reflect on his work. It seems to get a speedy approval. As soon as the paint is dry, agile ink lines with a reed pen trace the contours of bold and irregular shapes. After all a lot of new work is waiting for him to tackle with his endless energy and paint. Should he get bored with the regular paper or canvas, there is always the studio itself to serve as background for Hans, where he can let go his painting force.

At the moment the bewildered and fascinated visitors group leaves the studio, the portrait of Copernicus stares into the room from its place on the easel. With the paint cupboard opened behind him, displaying orderly rows of paint bottles, Hans opens his paper drawer with the same silent earnest expression on his face as Copernicus, who is overseeing a perfect order to what seems to others a complete chaos.


1995  Art in the country, Saint Hubert, Belgium
1996  Otsu Museum of History, Shiga, Japan
1997  Solo stand at the KunstRai, Amsterdam
1998  Solostand “Creatief Actief 98”, Breda
1998  The “Universal Print Show”, Gallery Project Ability, Glasgow, Schotland
1998  Blauwe kerst – Rode koning, Museum for Religious Art, Uden
1998  Study-tour to the United States concerning exhibition in Chuck Levitan Gallery, New York, USA
1999  Koppelingen, de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, cooperation with Otto Egberts, (brochure)
1999  Khan Younis, Palestina
2000  Fine Arts Palace, Cracow, Poland
2000  “En het geschiedde in die dagen”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2001  “Kromme Krokodil”, Jubilee exhibition 10 years Herenplaats, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2002  International exhibition “Simple Things”, Riga, Letland
2002  “Kunstlab02”, CC Ter Drift, Bornem, Belgium
2003  “Bruut”, Gallery Herenplaats in cooperation with Showroom Mama, Rotterdam
2004  “Wares for Art”, Phil D. Smith, New York, USA
2004  “Hans Hartman – Otto Egberts”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam.
2005  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA
2005  “Gek op Kunst”, Gallery Hollandia, Vlaardingen
2005  Expositie “Parkas”, kunst in de buitenruimte (art outside), Rotterdam
2005  “De Vlaamse Reus”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2006  “Beasts”, New York, USA
2006  Jubilee exhibition “15 years Herenplaats”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2007  “Outsiderart of Herenplaats” GAIA museum, Randers Denmark
2008  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA
2008  “Stendhal Syndroom, Art that makes you crazy”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2008  Exhibition in Niki Kurabu, Tokyo, Japan
2008  Exhibition Art en Voyage, kofferproject Gallery Kaleidoscope in Fribourg, Switserland
2009  Arts Project Australia, Melbourne, Australia, “Revealing the Human”
2009  Rackstadtmusee, Arvika in Sweden, Outsider Art Biennale, “Art surrounded by legends and wilderness”
2009  Who Am I # 4, Graphic exhibition, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2010  “Outsider Art Salon”; Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2011  “Down Here, Down Under”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2011  Expositie Zorgcentrum Crimpenersteyn, Krimpen a/d IJssel
2011  “Museum of Everything 4”, Londen, U.K.

1999  “Koppelingen”, de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam in cooperation with Otto Egberts
2001  “Kromme Krokodil”, 10 years Herenplaats
2002  “Simple Things”, Riga, Letland
2008  “Stendhal Syndrome, art that makes you grazy”, history of 15 years Herenplaats
2009   Who Am I # 4, Graphic exhibition, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

Work of Hans is bought by several private persons and companies in the Netherlands and abroad.


2006  In the project Beautiful People www.beautifulpeople.nl images by Hans Hartman have been used for a unique coffee set


the STOARC Collection of the University of Sydney, Australia

Max E. Ammann Collection, Switzerland