van gelder
For me, making art is an important means for self-exploration. It's a way to find out more about the emotional side of my personality. It's a way to let out and overcome my deepest emotions. In order to accomplish that, it's necessary to disable reason as far as possible while creating art and let emotions rule. Because I'm trying to keep these emotions as pure as possible, the creation of my artworks is a very fast, high-energy process. If I continue to work on the same artwork for a longer period, emotions will change during the process and it will have a negative influence on the resulting artwork.

You can look at my art as a form of emotional exhibitionism. I want to transfer these emotions to the viewers of my work in a very intense communication. 

While my work advanced I developed a set of powerful symbols, a very personal pictorial language. Most of the works contain several 'layers'. The first layer sometimes is a computer print on which the painting is ' built'. The last layer is often the most emotional one: scratches with conté and/or pastel. Some of the layers stay almost completely hidden from the viewer because they get covered up by other layers during the process. And here's the paradox: trying to reveal my inner self vs. hiding behind hidden layers. 

One of my viewers (Selby Frame, a writer from the USA) described this very accurately: 

"Happened upon CAGE, while browsing... 

A beautiful site. And I am thinking about several of your paintings, which I found once and can't somehow get back to. Ah, well. I have a question for you, concerning that tension of blackness and motion, against the deep, flat colors (Epitaph, especially, comes to mind). Mmmmm, it's a feeling, really, not a question. An urge I have, as viewer, lift behind the colors, or the suspended figure, to find out about the blackness pressing from behind. A sense that the whole construct is a mask almost. A mysterious disguise for something else, which wishes to be lifted, or exposed. I like your work very much." 

My biggest challenge will be bringing these hidden layers to the surface and come to a higher level of purity and simplicity. 
R o l f v a n G e l d e r
Binnenwiertzstraat 27
5615 HG Eindhoven
The Netherlands
+31-40-2 43 88 52 (private)

+31-40-2 47 45 32 (office)


born in 1958, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
self-taught artist, living and working in Eindhoven

b i o g r a p h y

studies and teaches classical guitar

composition of several modern-classical solo pieces for guitar

studies electrical engineering at the College of Technology,
specialization in information science

active as a visual artist, various techniques

working as a system developer / Internet specialist at the Eindhoven University of Technology

graphic design: the design of corporate styles, logo’s, brochures, advertisements and posters for several clients using Quark Xpress, PhotoShop, Illustrator and CorelDraw

creation of the CAGE (Cyber Art Gallery Eindhoven), a virtual art gallery at the Internet, in which, apart from the work of Rolf van Gelder, artworks of young artists from all over the world are presented

creation of digital artworks

design and production of Internet sites, such as

participation in many international art projects and collectives, such as 1996
member of the jury for the Eventa-3 International Art Exhibition, Uppsala, Sweden

design and publication of an artbook entitled ‘Open your cage and fly..., poems by Krishna Fells (Seattle, USA) based on paintings by Rolf van Gelder
(ISBN 90 9010333 3)

membership of the International Art Beyond Borders artist’s collective

publication of the "Golden Promises" painting on the back cover of the Dutch Reader’s Digest magazine (July 1999 edition)

r e c e n t   e x h i b i t i o n s


  • Galerie Riefel, Maria Enzersdorf a.G. (Vienna), Austria (March-April 2000) 
  • Galerie Kandinsky, Vienna, Austria (April 2000)
  • Solo exhibition, Galeria Proposta, Espinho, Portugal (April-May 2000)
  • 2nd Members Show, World Artists Association, UK (July 1999)
  • Art-e-mail, MAC21 International Contemporary Art Fair, Marbella, Malaga, Spain (July 1999)
  • Cultural exchanges in our Digital World, Library of the Government of Upper Austria, Linz, Austria (October 1999)
  • Art Beyond Borders, Kulturhaus "Alter Pfarrhof", Hollenstein a.d. Ybbs, Austria (October 1999)
  • solo exhibition at Glo’s, Capitol Hill, Seattle, USA (January 1998)
  • 1st Members Show, World Artists Association, UK (July 1998)
  • The Dutch are coming..., The Emerging Collector Gallery, New York, USA (August 1998)
  • International Vignettes, The-R-Tus Gallery, New York, USA (October 1998)
  • solo exhibition, Cyberlectual ‘Open your Cage and fly...’,

  • SolArt Gallery, Seattle, USA
  • Vault Gallery, Minneapolis, USA
  • solo exhibition, Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Olympia, USA
  • SolArt Gallery, Seattle, USA
  • Nina’s Trashy Art Auction (with popstar Nina Hagen), Minna Street Gallery,

  • San Francisco, USA
  • Digital Artworks, Online.Cafe, Norwalk, USA
  • Eventa-3 International Art Exhibition, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Lenwood Gallery, Minneapolis, USA
  • SolArt Gallery, Seattle, USA
  • The Conservatory, Minneapolis, USA

c o l l e c t i o n s

works of Rolf van Gelder can be found in several private collections in The Netherlands, Belgium, USA, Canada and Portugal.