Laan Irodjojo

Laan Irodjojo (1969)

Smiling friendly he is showing me his latest paintings, displaying the tallest building of Rotterdam, the Montevideo. Because of the size of this building he needed two pieces of canvas to picture this colossus. They have to lie on the floor next to each other in order to see it in full. He keeps an eye on me when I’m doing this and is repeating what I said: “nice huh”’.

Laan was born in Paramaribo. When his family moved to the Netherlands in 1979, they discovered the drawing talent on a school trip to the port of Rotterdam. In 1995 he got a place at Studio Herenplaats and was given the opportunity to experiment with different materials and techniques. Irodjojo has the Savant syndrome. People with this syndrome have special talents which can grow strongly, often there is the combination with autism. We are acquainted with infant prodigy in the fields of mathematics and music from stories and movies. Laan has a photographic memory and a remarkable strong sense of perception combined with a drawing talent. His favourite subjects are buildings, ships, airplanes, trains and bridges. Laan draws them quick and accurate, without a ruler and with a natural feeling for proportion and perspective. He starts by drawing everything with a pencil in his little sketchbook. Than he works out all his subjects on a large scale canvas or paper with acrylic paint. He paints in cool blues and greys, most of the time layer on layer, minimally correcting the colors. As the final touch he edges the colours with a black line.

Flipping through his sketchbook I am astonished at his sense of proportion, not one single line has been corrected, he doesn’t use an eraser. The perspective doesn’t fit in always right and sometimes it looks like an isometric perspective drawing. With some buildings the lines of a rooftop do not run parallel with the windows, but all the details are correct, even the small airco on a skyscraper are not missed.


1998  “Aubes’98”, Gallery des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux, France

1999  Universal Printshow’99, Project Ability, Glasgow, Scotland

1999  Out of the blue, Gallery de Slijperij, Geel, Belgium

1998  The Museum of New Art, Pärnu, Estonia

1998  “Boats”, Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

2001  Universal Printshow, Glasgow, Scotland

2002  “Die Welt: Innen Nach Aussen”, Hamburg, Germany

2003  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA

2003  The Universal Print Show, Project Ability, Glasgow, Scotland

2003  Solo exhibition Kerrigan Campbell Art & Projects, Soho, New York, USA

2003  “Who am I”, Venice, Italy

2005  The return of The Universal Print Show, Project Ability, Glasgow, Scotland

2005  The Great Hall gallery, New York, USA

2005  Hollandia Gallery, Vlaardingen

2005  “Group Du Jour” Van der Plas Gallery, New York, USA

2006  Jubilee exhibition “15 years Herenplaats”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2007  “Art throughout the Innerworld”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2007  Exhibition in Finland

2007  Skyscraperweekend, Rotterdam

2007  “INTUIT Show”, Chicago, USA

2007  “Buildings”, Rotterdam

2007  “Transport”, Artwork Spangen, Rotterdam

2008  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA

2008  “Stendhal Syndroom, art that makes you grazy”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2008  Exhibition in Niki Kurabu, Tokyo, Japan

2008  “Espacio Liquido”, Jovellanos en El Helvedero, Gijon, Spain

2009  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA.

2009  Transport “on wheels and stuff”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2009  Exhibition Galerie Kempro “Modellen”, Sterksel

2009  “Outsider Art”, Gallery De Compagnie, Dordrecht

2009  “Going Dutch”, Van der Plas Gallery, New York, USA

2009  Rackstadtmusee, Arvika in Sweden, Outsider Art Biennale, “Art surrounded by legends and wilderness”

2010  Project Ability, “Myscape”, Glasgow, Scotland

2010  “Nighthawks” ,  Vzw.Wit.h, Kortrijk, Belgium

2010  “Outsider Art der Niederlande”, Kunsthaus Kannen, Münster, Germany

2010  Villa Zebra, Theme: architecture, Rotterdam

2010  “Outsider Art Salon”, Galler7y Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2011  Exhibition Zorgcentrum Crimpenersteyn, Krimpen a/d IJssel

2011  Outsider Art, Wijk bij Duurstede

2011  “Museum of Everything 4”, Londen, U.K.

2011  WTC Schiphol, Amsterdam

2011  Outsider Art Exhibition, Wijk bij Duurstede

2011  Who Am I # 5, graphic exhibition, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2012  Exhibition Esmare Kunstkabinet, Capelle a/d IJssel

2012  Art Brut Biënnale, Hengelo

2012  “Who am I”, Galerie du haut Pavé, Parijs, France

2013  “Borelo-Lifemap”, Artium, Fuhuoka, Japan

2013  GROOS, Schieblock, Schiekade, Rotterdam

2013  La Brut, Rotterdam

2013  Aafje Zorghotel, Sint Fransiscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam

2018 “Zomergasten”, Dr. Guislain Museum, Gent (Belgium)

2019 “City Scapes”, Galerie Herenplaats, Rotterdam



Max E. Ammann Collection, Switzerland



1998  “Aubes’98”. Galerie des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux, France

2000  “Boats”, Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

2000  “Transport” Galerie Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2008  “Stendhal syndroom, art that makes you grazy”, history 15 years Herenplaats

2011  “Museum of Everything 4”, Londen, U.K.

2011  Who Am I # 5, graphic exhibition, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam



2000  2 orders from the Physician Training Centre, Capelle a IJssel

2002  Order from a law centre, Rotterdam

2005  Blow up of the painting “Schielandtoren” at the front of an officebuilding, Rotterdam