Paintings of absence and melancholy (II) – Empty boats, by Jim Holland

Some views on Jim Holland’s work and some selected paintings:

Jim Holland is an American artist, born in 1955 in Schenectady NY. He works with oils and watercolours, following a style marked by stripped-down realistic depiction (sometimes hyperrealist, and sometimes a little surrealist to my eyes), great serenity and a sense of melancholic solitude very much alike the one found in the work of Edward Hopper—an artist for whom Holland has had a lifelong admiration. The enduring themes in Holland’s paintings are the light, space and simple architectural forms near the ocean, in New England; windows, chairs, isolated houses and empty boats, docks, deserted views of the beach… Very rarely there is any presence to be seen, be it human or not, but we can occasionally see some vestige of it more or less close in time: a shirt hanging on the back of a chair, an open book, a cup of tea or coffee…

There is no originality in his work –but he does not seek it, either–; just much beauty and an extraordinary technical competence (most ripples and reflections on water are masterly indeed). There is silence too and also, very often –as much as in Ed Hopper’s paintings–, an open way to a disquieting excursion into philosophy.

(Of course, true art does not require at all to be original. Most artists in painting, literature or music are not. On the other side, many original -even never seen- works are not art. There is not the lesser doubt in my mind that Jim Holland is a true artist.)

Jim Holland _paintings_houses_landscapes_boats
Oars at the Ready


Dock Angles

Dory and Ripples


Cat Reflections

This post is a follow up (even if keeping the same introductory words) of a previous one on this same blog: Paintings of absence and melancholy (I) – Chairs and windows, by Jim Holland

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