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Biography

Rob Niezen is a painter and printmaker. He paints mostly in oils, and his printmaking includes etchings and linocuts. His art has been shown in over 30 juried exhibitions, and he has been a participant in the Annual Kawartha Studio Tour since 2010.
Rob is an elected member of the Ontario Society of Artists, and co-chaired its New Members’ Exhibition at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto in 2015. That same year Peterborough County awarded him a Leadership in Arts & Culture Recognition Award. He is a member of the Peterborough based artist collective Leitmotif: with a focus on narrative work. He teaches oil painting at the Art School of Peterborough, where he was a board member for six years. He is still involved as a volunteer in marketing the school.
Rob is self taught and took evening classes at Vrije Akademies in The Hague and Delft, the Netherlands, and courses at the Art School of Peterborough. He was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, and lives and works near Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

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Artist Statement

As a young boy it was comics that inspired me to draw, and art has been my passion ever since. In my observations of daily life, I explore the effects of light and reflections on contrast and colour harmony. With an eye for randomness I view the ordinary from extraordinary angles or at extraordinary moments. In my still-life and (urban) landscape oil paintings, I seek the drama, the exaggerated and the surprising in objects and places. My painting style is grounded in classic and impressionistic oil painting practice, yet influenced by European graphic novels and Dutch graphic tradition.
To share my observations, I view and interpret; I then isolate and emphasize my subjects. My still-lifes take this approach, creating visual narratives of moments in time, and of lives well lived. The paintings reveal rich colours and the play of light and shadows.
My nocturnes show the dream world of our cities created by artificial lights. Rainy night reflections create bursts of colour, and reveal our theatrical surroundings. These paintings are a testament to the vibrancy of the city, and vary from broader contextual city views, to close-ups that render more abstract compositions as the artificial lights create magic on small and large scale.

Awards

Leadership in Arts & Culture Recognition Award from Peterbrough County, 2015
Exhibition Assistance Grant, Ontario Arts Council, 2013
Annual Juried Show, The Lindsay Gallery jurors award, 2012
Colour and Form Society Biennial Open Juried Exhibition, third prize, 2012
Seventh Annual Juried Art Show, Quest Art School + Gallery, Midland, Ontario, second prize, 2011
Buckhorn Wild Festival Amateur Art Competition, Buckhorn, Ontario, 1st prize Open Section, 2004

Bibliography

Impressionable Impressions, Chromatic Contrapposto art blog, 2013
‘Rob Niezen reveals the overlooked dream world of our cities at Gallery in the Attic’ by Michael Fazackerly in KwarthaNow, 2013
AGP Inaugural Triennial exhibition catalogue, 2012
Centennial Anniversary Calendar, Siemens Canada, Burlington, Ontario, 2012
100: A Century of Siemens in Canada, Siemens Canada, Burlington, Ontario, 2012
My Favourite Place Calendar, Art School of Peterborough, Ontario, 2011, 2010 and 2009 

prhc-tree-adjRob’s Tree of Life at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Corporate and Public Collections

Siemens Canada, Burlington, Ontario
SickKids, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Peterborough Optometric Centre, Peterborough
Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough, Ontario
Siemens Milltronics Process Instruments Inc, Peterborough, Ontario

Commissions

Siemens Canada 100th Anniversary Calendar

Six paintings depicting milestones in the hundred year history of Siemens in Canada, based on a variety of  source material, including old and fuzzy black and white photographs from the early nineteen hundreds. I enjoy the additional research about the moment itself, how people dressed in that period, the colours, etc. That kind of digging helps me imagine and interpret the scene, and finally create the composition. Pete Froggatt painted the other six images for the calendar.

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Gallery Representation

Launch Gallery — Peterborough, Ontario
Studio 22 Open Gallery — Kingston, Ontario  
Nu-Form Art — Norwood, Ontario
Meta4 Gallery — Port Perry and Peterborough, Ontario