2024/04/12

How to Navigate the Legacy Blog of Henri van Bentum, 1929 - 2022

Welcome to the legacy blog of artist Henri van Bentum (1929-2022).  This site contains several hundred posts covering a vast array of topics, all written by Henri, beginning in 2008 when the blog launched. For a chronological menu of older posts, please see the lower left-hand side of this page. The site is curated by Natasha van Bentum, lifelong partner of Henri for fifty-one years.

2024/04/01

Remembering With Joy, Artist Henri van Bentum (1929-2022), and the healing power of Art


On the Healing Power of Art


"Henri, the 'Maestro', 

lives on in our hearts and minds 

every day."  Natasha van Bentum


Henri van Bentum, 
1929-2022

Tuesday, 2nd April marked the second anniversary of Henri's passing. Henri often spoke of the healing power of art. He was acutely aware of this, having begun to paint while in a tuberculosis sanatorium in the Netherlands after WWII.  The doctors said painting was a major factor in his recovery. 

Over the past two years, I have found his paintings here in our private collection have brought both solace and much joy. 

Here are a few words by others about Henri's work, as well as s short 'poem' Henri wrote many years ago, "What Is A Creative Person Like?"

≈≈≈

“The brightness that leaps from his canvasses is like crystals seen through a microscope.” TIME
≈≈≈

“Henri was generous with his heart and his mind, always creative. He set a high-water mark for a life lived with integrity, focus and compassion.” Marina Bieler


≈≈≈

“As an artist and colour master, Henri van Bentum captured light and life, creating something beautiful, a choreography of colour and texture.  In Henri’s hands, the Universe danced.” Dr. Kimberly Kowal, NASA

≈≈≈

“Viewing a painting by Henri van Bentum is a stimulus to the imagination. Perhaps his background as a diamond-faceter’s son is responsible for the almost crystalline aspect of his work. The single most extraordinary quality in all his paintings is an incredible luminosity, a radiance that emanates from within.” Globe and Mail


≈≈≈


“Henri van Bentum’s opus, Organiverse, is a glimpse into the multi-layered beauty of all that is Life. These mandalas offer an immense opportunity for healing and for a heart-based understanding of who we are physically, emotionally and spiritually. A dance of colour, form and contemplation.” Dr. Mark Sherman


≈≈≈

“Henri lived with enhanced fluid sensitivity, especially to colour, nuances of form, and shades and combinations… and, in addition to paying careful attention to detail, Henri embodied an expanded, or perhaps better said, an unblemished sense of wonder. 

These combinations and receptive qualities help to explain how and why Henri would often enhance situations and people simply by his presence, and this in turn, would inspire creativity and highlight beauty, in many diverse situations.”  Brian W.E. Johnson

≈≈≈

"While Henri is known as an abstract artist, his approach to the abstract is distinctive - perhaps it might be called an abstract ecology. It is this unique perspective in his art that invites a sense of connection to realities beyond the ordinary appearance of things - both to the cosmos, but also to the biological. In his abstractions, we see the resonance of the microcosm and macrocosm." Seonaigh MacPherson 




≈≈≈

What is a Creative Person Like? (written by Henri many years ago)

 THEY ARE EXTREMELY ALERT PERCEPTUALLY

Are observant of the world about them

Are aware of the feel and touch of things

Listen to the sound of life around them

Are sensitive to smell

Are aware of the taste of things

 

THEY LIKE TO ‘BUILD’ THEIR IDEAS

Like to construct things in material

Prefer to rearrange old ideas into new relationships

Like to experiment with various approaches and media

Like to try out new methods and techniques

Prefer to manipulate their ideas in various ways

Have to solve problems set by themselves

Seek to push beyond the boundaries of their thinking

 

THEY LIKE TO EXPLORE NEW IDEAS

Are original in their thoughts about things

Like to invent new ways of saying and telling

Like to dream up new possibilities

Like to imagine and pretend

 

THEY ARE CONFIDENT IN THEMSELVES

Flexible in approaches to situations

Like to be independent and on their own

Are outwardly expressive of what they have to say

Are not afraid of emotional feelings and show them

 

THEY LIKE TO INVESTIGATE THE NATURE OF THINGS

Like to search for the meaning of things

Question available data and information

Like to inquire into unknown quantities

Discover new relationships

Desire to uncover new meanings

 

THEY RESPOND TO AESTHETIC STIMULI

Are sensitive to the beauty of nature

Appreciate beauty man has made and

Which nature abundantly provides

Have feeling for harmony and rhythm

Love to sing, write, explore, cook,

act, sculpt, draw, paint or dance.

 ≈≈≈

 For more about Henri's life and work, visit "Remembering Henri van Bentum". 



For those who missed it, here is the link to Henri's obituary, published two years ago.

Posted by Natasha van Bentum, 
Henri's lifelong partner of 51 years