Stormy day at Bombo inspired Robert Klein-Boonscate to paint

DEEP INSPIRATION: Robert Klein-Boonscate felt compelled to paint these current seascapes after a visit to Bombo on a stormy day.
DEEP INSPIRATION: Robert Klein-Boonscate felt compelled to paint these current seascapes after a visit to Bombo on a stormy day.

After eight years in the Australian bush, Robert Klein-Boonscate, the Dutch born Australian painter who impressed art critic Sebastian Smee with his nudes in 1999, has stopped in Kiama to paint his latest exhibition of seascapes at the Minamurra Cafe from December 4 – 31.

Robert’s paintings in this exhibition named ‘Kiama Calling’, are unashamedly Australian without the trickery or fantasy of surrealism. They are as beautiful and real as the subject itself.

“It started when I was in South Australia on the beach there, but I only got to paint sand dunes, I wanted to do the water but it takes time, then when I visited my friends here, we went on a really stormy day to Bombo and there was this cauldron of water, the ocean was this aqua blue and the storm was whipping all the waves up and I was entranced,” he said.

“I thought it would be amazing if you could capture some of the energy from that, so I took some photos.

“It’s the start of the waves and the start of the ocean so I think if I did more, it would grow and develop.

“It’s another adventure, I normally paint a lot of landscapes, with water it’s a very different thing, you are always getting these small wriggly shapes, so you have to deal with them. 

“Painting is an endless adventure.”

He has achieved the impossible in an art market that is now famously cruel for making celebrities of only a handful of artists  – a continuity of fine authentically Australian paintings, gimmick free and exciting for what they are -  images of those special peaceful places and captured energetic moments.

Born in the Netherlands in 1958, the young Robert arrived in Australia in 1971 with his family.

After studying graphics at the Swinburne Institute of Technology from 1978 – 1981, he realised his true calling was painting for its own sake. He spent 1983 – 1994 in Central Australia where he developed the resilience and determination fired from the harshness and beauty of the landscape.

His production of works and exhibitions was prodigious but mainly confined to the local area, Alice Springs and the Fluerieu Peninsular, SA.   

He returned to the Netherlands between 1995 – 1997 to study the Dutch Masters. After returning to Sydney, his final coming of age on the Australian art scene resulted in an outpouring of work that resulted in 15 exhibitions in three years, including ten solo shows in Sydney, two in Melbourne, and one each in Paris and New York.

This period began with critical acclaim by Sebastian Smee, who said his exhibition of nudes was “one of the best contributions to portraiture to hit Sydney in years. The influence of Expressionism is obvious, so are the paintings of Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti. Terrific stuff.”

It ended with a near sell out show at Rushcutters Bay Gallery in 2007. Since then Robert has had several exhibitions in regional NSW and Victoria. In 2010 Robert  took to the bush in the Greater Hume area of southern NSW where he lives and paints in relative isolation and close to family.

The exhibition opening is on Thursday, December 7 at 7pm at Minamurra Cafe, 1A  Rangoon Rd, Minamurra. Robert Klein-Boonscate will be present on the night to discuss the paintings with guests.

Early viewing of his work can be arranged by appointment through his agent Stephen Nall on 0411 666 488.

Want more from the Kiama Independent? Try these:

Minnamurra Public School to sell fresh cut Xmas trees

Jamberoo/Albion Park under 14s score hard fought five wicket victory