Posted on Leave a comment

Ika Huber (1953)

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-24 om 15.38.33

Possibly because of the same age we both have there is an automatic liking i have for the works by Ika Huber. Influenced by many, but still a very personal signature in her compositions which makes them 100% Ika Huber. We must have grown up and liked both the same kind of art and artists, because i recognize within her works many elements of artists i admire, but the best way to describe a painting by Huber is the way the former director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam , Rudi Fuchs did.

The paintings give the overall impression of fragments – meaning that they originate as fragments. At some point came the first touch of paint at a random spot on the canvas as an extension , in a way, of memories of landscapes, buildings, inner courtyards and windows, light as a feather – and so, as such, fragmentary; as fragmented and haphazard as memory itself.

Individual elements assume at times the completeness of a figure or the solidity of a column; straight lines are, however, meticulously avoided. Colours are mostly thin, but applied in delicate layers; the broad brushstrokes remain visible, creating a veiled effect but also one of restless vibration, like warm air over a horizon. In places, too, the paint is sometimes rubbed on dry and brittle, giving it the appearance of chalk. There is so much to see in these paintings if you examine them more carefully: hundreds of details make the picture glow like night.

Straight lines are avoided then, as these tend to trap colours and forms within their rigid framework. But the figments of memory which lead to fragmentary pictures should surely float if anything. This is what makes the drawing in these paintings so remarkable. The forms do indeed have contours but they are very hesitantly, almost unwillingly, suggested.

The forms are intertwined with each other with extraordinary care, as if Ika Huber was reluctant to say what the memory is. She leads the eye towards something else which must be seen, I think, in the same indescribable movement as that of Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine just over 500 years ago.

It is the mysterious and unfathomable that always confronts me in these pictures; in their composition, their details, the resonance and tone of their colours, and in their dreamlike mobility and “Sfumato”. There is a lot here then which does indeed complete the fragments in the pictures – but the question remains: to what extent. 

Rudi Fuchs, Den Haag

There are 2 titles on Ika Huber available at

Leave a Reply