Exhibition 'MELLE – Painter of a Different Reality' in Museum van Bommel van Dam
A walk through the oeuvre of ‘the Amsterdam Hieronymus Bosch'
The Amsterdam Melle Oldeboerrigter (1908-1976) is one of the most enigmatic painters of the 20th century. Not only do his paintings contain alienating scenes, but he did not want to be pigeonholed as an artist either. Yet, he who is elusive runs the risk of remaining misunderstood. With the major retrospective exhibition ‘MELLE – Painter of a Different Reality’ this autumn, museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo is bringing the wonderous world of the somewhat forgotten artist back into the spotlight.
We highlight the incredible quality of Melle as a fine artist, the surrealistic elements, the many phalluses, the anarchistic influences and the baffled feeling that comes over you when you look at his work. Anno 2022, museum van Bommel van Dam thinks it is time for a new exhibition devoted to Melle’s exceptional oeuvre which presents the many sides of his work. The exhibition was prompted by a major gift of works of art from the Melle Foundation two years before. In the past, many have tried to explain Mells’ paintings. That is no easy feat, not least because the painter never joined an artistic movement or artists’ group. Moreover, Melle rarely spoke about his motives and inspiration. And yet, many art historians and psychologists have attempted interpretations, ranging from Melle as an eccentric Amsterdammer and painter who everyone knows to analyses based on Freudian theories. Melle was also often compared to the 15th century artist Jeroen Bosch, which earned Melle the nickname of ‘The Amsterdam Jeroen Bosch’. Museum van Bommel van Dam has chosen an approach that provides room for amazement and reflection. Instead of explaining Melle’s work, the museum allows the visitor to take a walk through important themes from his oeuvre. The exhibition MELLE – Painter of a Different Reality transports you to Melle’s dream world.