This is an online selection of oil paintings on canvas by Olga Wiese.

Born 1944 Middelburg The Netherlands. Working as an artist since 1962 as WIESE

The method

There are different genres of figurative art: ‘From nature ’ (still life, landscape, life-model), ‘Photorealism’ (the photograph as template), ‘By heart’ (phantasy, new reality).

Obviously, I belong to this last category.

The image emerges and changes along the way. And every step of the way the narrative, composition and brushwork must be brought in line, every loss of focus requires tricky repairs afterwards. The biggest challenge is keeping all balls in the air. Never a dull moment.

The heroes

In the late 60’s I discovered the comic ‘Little Nemo’ and ever after Winsor McCay has been my superhero. His world is boundless, tilts, expands, shrinks and shifts, so that nothing is what it initially seemed to be in Nemo’s dreams.

Little Nemo 1
Little Nemo 2

As I am a drawing kind of painter it’s no surprise that Peter Vos and Joost Swarte are heroes as well, as is Topor. You have to admire them for their sublimely drawn bizarre brainwaves.

The canvas hero, of course, is Francis Bacon.

The mentor

In Middelburg, Jac. Prince not only taught me life drawing and all the ins and outs of painting in oil, disclosing all the technical skills he had to offer me, but with his morbid and bizarre humor he was also the one who showed me the hatchway towards the cabinet of curiosities inside my head. Much credit to him.

The halls

Over the years I have had the pleasure to adorn numerous halls, waiting rooms, interiors and bars.

University Medical Center Groningen dining hall
Universtity Medical Center Groningen outside
Theatre hall 'Huis de Beurs'
Pub 'De Sigaar'
Pub 'De Sigaar' detail
Pub 'Miss Blanche'
Sewing table
Vide painting, height 8oo cm
Todiolo Toscane Italy

The drawings for papers

For 20 years I made drawings for background stories and themed supplements (Vrije Volk/ Nieuwsblad vh Noorden/ GPD), drawings of politicians (Volkskrant), cartoons (Voetbal International), political prints (Winschoter Courant) and courtroom sketches (Nieuwsblad/ GPD).

For years, every other week Erik Beenker and I roamed across the north country, on the lookout for the remarkable, to fill our very own page with.

NvhN 1974
NvhN 1980
Volkskrant 2
Winschoter Courant
NvhN science column
NvhN science

The art committees

From the 70’s till the 90’s I served on behalf of the BBK (the artists’ union) on a number of art committees in Groningen, including de Culturele Raad (Cultural Council), Opdrachtadviesacommissies (Commission Advisory Committees), Aankoopcommissie BKR (Purchasing Committee BKR), Artotheek in oprichting (the Art Lending Library under establishment).

The friends

Trudy Kramer, Ger Siks, Wim Jonkman and Patricia Suer are the friends with whom I held multiple joint exhibitions.

Trudy Kramer
Ger Siks
Wim Jonkman
Patricia Suer

The travels

From the 60’s onwards I reset my head and broaden my mind by crossing borders into Northern Africa (hitchhiking across Algeria), Turkey, USA, China (travelling across the South China Sea to Hainan), Australia (acrobatics in a Tiger Moth), South Africa, Argentina (parachute jumping), Uruguay, Canada (and Newfoundland) and all the corners of Europe.

The Exhibitions

Among others: Groninger Museum, Markiezenhof Bergen op Zoom, Drents Museum Assen, Museum de Buitenplaats Eelde, Synagoge Groningen, Oosterpoort Groningen, Bruggebouw Emmen, Schuttershof Middelburg, Historisch Museum Amsterdam, Kunsthistorisch Instituut Groningen, Gasunie Groningen, Museum Oldenburg. Galleries: Wiek XX, Bonnard, Item, de Boer Waalkens, Librije, Vieleers.

Wessel Gansfort Award in 1991.

Purchased by

Among others: Cityhall Zwolle, Beatrixoord Haren, Gasunie Groningen, University Hospital Groningen (UMCG), Museum Markiezenhof Bergen op Zoom, the city of Groningen, the city of Den Haag, Drents Museum, Nijsingh huis Eelde, Nederlandse Kunststichting, bars, restaurants, private concerns.

Some book and reviews

  • Henk van Os / Groninger Museum ‘Jong in Groningen’
  • Gasunie 1997 ‘Bovengrondsbezit’ en 2004 ‘Sieraden voor het gebouw’
  • Diederik Kraaijpoel 1997 ‘De grijpbare vorm’
  • Pieter Scheen 1969 Lexicon
  • Drents Museum/Galerie WiekXX 2004 ‘De figuratie als geschenk’
  • Jaques Hermus 2001 ‘101 Markante Groningers van de twintigste eeuw’
  • Max Dendermonde 1993 ‘De Groninger sonnetten’
  • Youp van ‘t Hek 2004 ‘De wonderlijke broertjes Pim en Pietje’
  • Harry Huizing 2002 ‘Het koninkrijk dat nooit af was’
  • Gertjan Aalders 1007 ‘Archibalds afscheid’
  • Erik Beenker 2016 ‘Wonderkrant in Stad en Ommeland’
  • Paul Steenhuis NRC 1991 ‘Een bres in de beschaafde smaak’
  • Alfred Meester 1994 ‘De wonder bizarre wereld van Olga Wiese’
  • Fred Jilleba Het Vrije Volk 1960 ‘Fantasierijke kunst’
  • Paul Bollen NvhN 1965 ‘Olga Wiese en de mensjes’
  • Bert Boekschoten UK 1984 ‘The private eye’
  • Friggo Visser NvhN 1988 ‘Wiese, in apen, beren en kroegtijgers’
  • Erik van der Poel Consigne 1994 ‘Niets is wat het in eerste instantie lijkt’
  • Jan Louwes DGP 1998 ‘Wiese moet zweten en zwoegen’

Post by Henk van Os

"Paintings by Olga Wiese are in a sense trick. At first glance they seem to belong to trendy realism but at a second look this impression appears to be wrong. She is not meticulously painting landscapes, portraits, or still-lives nor is she indulging in form of mystic symbolism. Not by reality but by very specific realities. In fact she represents an artistic attitude known in the 16th century as 'Kuriositätenliebe'. This way of looking at the world around you, discovering the oddities and rarities of life in a way has become her way of painting. This to me is the most fascinating aspect of her art. She does not just represent curious things, she detects them during the process of painting. Painting does not mean to her a theatrical arrangement of given facts. The action itself is a mean of realizing fantasies.

Her career over the last twenty years shows a surprisingly consistent development. In the last works she displays a precision of drawing and a richness of color which make her paintings monuments of modern phantasy. It is as if Brueghel's 'Dulle Griet' has been given life again. She walks through a landscape full of most unbelievable visual adventures."

Henk van Os
26th August 1985

The interview 2011

  • NhvN
  • NvhN 1974
    NvhN 1974
  • NvhN 1980
    NvhN 1980
  • Volkskrant
  • Volkskrant 2
    Volkskrant 2
  • Winschoter Courant
    Winschoter Courant
  • NvhN science column
    NvhN science column
  • NvhN science
    NvhN science
  • Winschoter