18 June to 2 October 2022

Pieter Stoop

Big and Bold

Big, bigger, biggest. In the turbulent 1980s, Pieter Stoop (Breda, 1946) is on top of his game. Full of passion, he layers his oil paints on big canvases. Many leading art collectors and museums are fighting to get their hands on his work. But where is Pieter Stoop now? Our curators went in search of the Brabant artist. What they found was a treasure trove of never-before-seen works.

About the artist

Pieter Stoop was born on 18 January 1946 in Breda. He made his breakthrough at a time when artists with an expressive painting style, known as the Neue Wilde, were causing an international furore and bringing the art of painting into the spotlight. Stoop's unfettered painting style and expressive canvases perfectly embodied this movement and the zeitgeist.

"The crucial thing isn't that Pieter Stoop takes the landscape as his starting point; it's all about how the movement of paint and colour transforms the surface into something else: the painter's art."

— Rudi Fuchs, art historian and former director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 

Legendary museum directors Rudi Fuchs and Jan Debbaut are big champions of Stoop and Het Noordbrabants Museum is one of many museums queuing up to acquire his works. We still delve into our depot on a regular basis for one of his paintings to show visitors. The video tour of our contemporary art collection would not be complete without Stoop's work, which begged the question: where is Pieter Stoop now?

Wild and wanted

A tip-off leads to a meeting with the artist. Now aged 75, he shuns the spotlight. Our curators discover that Stoop continued painting in his trademark, unfettered style for many years, well beyond his most famous period. With him, they select a treasure trove of rarely exhibited works from all periods of his oeuvre. Taken together, they tell the story of an artist who has been fascinated throughout his career by the technique and materiality of painting – and who, in his choice of subjects, has always remained faithful to landscape.

'For me, it's more about painting, than paintings,' says the unique artist. His artworks are created layer by layer, his landscapes are visceral and wild, often chaotic, and almost unrecognizable. The exhibition in our museum illustrates a superb cross section of Stoop's work. A tribute to the wild man of painting.

Discover more