When I am doing a watercolour there is usually very little intent except to feel free, a coming-down period, often after working on an oil painting. At first I thought the oilpainting was more serious, but sometimes you trick yourself. In some ways the watercolours become more honest and automatic. The material itself is so spare.
The economy of means appeals to me, whereas the oil paintings are more about accumulation. In oil paint I can re-paint which is freeing, in watercolour there is no going back. It is beautiful because there is a sense of urgency. To some extent, careful planning is necessary since alteration is difficult—once the white of the paper is obscured it cannot be recovered—and overworking saps the colours of their vitality. Colour and luminosity become the content of the work—and probably the most important to me—and ultimately redeem the work and make it sparkle.
Harold Klunder was born in 1943 in Deventer, The Netherlands. In 1952 he immigrated to Canada with his parents and nine siblings. He received his art education at Central Technical School in Toronto. Throughout his career, Klunder’s art practice has reflected a diversity of interests including painting, printmaking, and photography. As well, the artist has a long history of improvisational sound work, often collaborating in sound performances with his partner, artist Catherine Carmichael.
For four decades, Harold Klunder has maintained a full-time studio practice. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions across North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. His work is represented in public and private collections in Canada and abroad, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 2000 Klunder moved to Montreal with his partner and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Saskia. While working and teaching in Montreal, he maintains studios in Flesherton, Ontario, his home of many years, and Berlin where his son Willem resides.