Ton Schulten was born in 1938 in Ootmarsum, a small town in Holland. Today he is celebrated as Holland's most successful contemporary painter. The works hanging in this room are from his first exhibition in the United States, which took place at The Lowe Gallery in June, 1997.

Though always fascinated with painting, Schulten first pursued a career in advertising, and for many years he co-owned a very promising advertising agency. In 1989, a near-fatal automobile accident changed his life forever.

The accident left Schulten in a coma for two weeks, during which time he remembers seeing a constant flow of images comprised of shifting prisms of color. Upon his recovery Schulten closed his agency and began painting full-time; his goal was to recapture his visions on canvas so that he might share them with the public. "It's a miracle that I am still alive," he says, "this has given me a new zest for living and I try to transfer this feeling of optimism onto canvas."

Schulten first painted abstract canvases dominated by colorful geometric areas. This was a logical, though unconscious, continuation of his work as a graphic designer. Next came a period in which large floral themes played a major part.

In 1992, Schulten turned his attention to landscapes, and he began by painting scenes of Twente, the region in which Ootmarsum is located. Over time, his landscapes have become less regional and more universal, though the rolling fields planted with maize, the ancient wooded banks and the quiet hamlets have not been forgotten.

Schulten's work is characterized by bright colors that he uses to fragment the landscape into large vertical bands. The effect is that of a mosaic on which the ever changing light throws different colors again and again.

"There is always something new to be discovered," he says, "moreover I feel that my work is still gaining in depth. There seems to be no limit to what one can do with paint. Its beauty is increasing, maturing. "I have not finished, on the contrary, for I have now discovered the town."


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