Cornelis J. Rijken was born 8th September 1951 in Waalwijk in the southern Netherlands. He attended the Akademie St. Joost in Breda, where, in 1987, he obtained his degree in monumental sculpture and painting.
Art as a profession was a later choice and abstract art his main field of expression.
Initially Cornelis dedicated himself to painting. His main acrylic works belong to the 90s and, characterised by a very fine chromatic balance, represent a continuous flow of thinking and stories. The author defines his style as “lyric abstract”.
However Cornelis’ need to extend his research led him to explore the third dimension offered by sculpture. He immediately found that this art form allowed him to articulate his own reality as never before.
Moreover, sculpture requires a different approach to a project. In order to make the invisible (i.e. thought) visible he has used stone and metal to probe deeper levels of self-awareness and observe the complexity of the mind. His goal is to capture the very essence of human life. Every work of art is the result of this process.
As he likes to state: “Simple is the most difficult.”
And simplicity invites one to look for hidden meanings in shape. But Cornelis’ main characteristic is the willpower to tackle and solve the challenge presented by new materials and their crafting.
He has also drawn inspiration from the places where he has lived: stainless steel in the Netherlands, granite and bronze in India, Carrara marble in Italy. In India, where he spent more than a decade, he was also involved in many social projects, including those aimed at relieving the tsunami emergency.
Since 2007 Cornelis has been living and creating new works in Casola Valsenio, Italy: here, he has finally found his perfect place.