Tag Archives: TRAC

The Representational Art Conference

TRAC2018, sweeping art movement

TRAC2018, The Representational Art Conference in Holland
Gezien van de Riet. With an article by Lorena Kloosterboer

TRAC2018, The Representational Art Conference, was in The Netherlands, for the first time in Europe!
Part of the event is the Classical Art exhibition, Zaailand, Frisian Gallery, Leeuwarden, may 1 – june 24. My ‘Dunes in the snow’ is there too.


Dunes with snow, alkyd and oil on panel, 150x100cm. Gezien van de Riet

Some impressions of TRAC2018:

Classical-Art-TRAC2018,The Representational Art Conference

Classical Art Exhibition, Gezien van de Riet, Ernst van de Wetering. Max Ginsburg lecturing. Allessandra Marrucchi, selected in Classical Art Competition

TRAC2018,The Representational Art Conference-Helmantel-demo-interpreter-Jeroen-Strengers. Henk Helmantel's demo

Henk Helmantel’s demo with interpreter Jeroen Strengers.

TRAC2018,The Representational Art Conference 2

Joke Frima, Lorena Kloosterboer, Gezien van de Riet, Gerard Huysman. After Esther Leuvenink’s tempera lesson.

TRAC2018,The Representational Art Conference Wagner-lecture-David-Molesky-lecture

Corinna Wagner’s lecture. David Molesky’s lecture

Ernst van de Wetering and myself presented joint lectures. Ernst van de Wetering on judging the quality of an artwork, comparing paintings with the same theme by Rembrandt and by his pupils.
The next Blog is about my lecture ‘Imitation and Imagination’.

Now a review on TRAC2018 by Lorena Kloosterboer for Poets and Artists: click on the link: https://www.poetsandartists.com/magazine/2018/5/11/kloosterboer-on-trac-2018
Her article, A movement is sweeping the art world, is translated into Dutch and Spanish by Jeroen Strengers on this blog.

Art Renewal Center and my hobby horse

The Art Renewal Center (ARC) has accepted me as ARC Associate Living Master™!

This message appeared on the ARC Salon Update:

Post van Art Renewal Center

Post van Art Renewal Center

Last year I was finalist in an Art Renewal Center competition (see blog August 2015). After that I was invited to apply to the ARC. If you are approved by four different juries you get your own gallery on the ARC website. Mine is:

The ARC’s recognition means a lot to me. It is a great honor to be part of this online museum. It shows old masters and present-day top artists like Jeremy Lipking, Jacob Collins, Max Ginsberg, and (active in the Netherlands)  Joke Frima and Urban Larsson.

Logo ARC

Logo ARC

Classical tradition
The ARC is one of the largest online museums that is a standard-bearer of the classical tradition. It encompasses thousands of pictures of art-works. There is a section of ‘living artists’, and an enormous section of ‘dead masters’. In this case I won’t mind ‘moving on’ when the time is there…
The ARC was founded in 2000 by Fred Ross, and also has a physical museum focussing mainly on 19th century art. Ross is a great admirer of the French Salon artists who were later largely forgotten, like Alma Tadema, who has an exhibition now in the Fries Museum .
Its aim is the renewal of the classical tradition. For that a broad range of activities has been developed: competitions, publications of books, articles and instruction materials, exhibitions, historical research, news letters and the building of a network.

Much value is set on education. The ARC features a long list of schools, academies and studios that they have granted approval to. For art student –already from 60 or so countries– there are yearly competitions in which scholarships can be won.

Studio Incaminati

International students. (Studio Incaminati)

Juliette Aristides: Secrets

Juliette Aristides: Secrets of Classical Painting

There is a link with the Da Vinci Initiative, that publishes schooling material for classical professional skills, aimed at students and teachers.

During the 20th century a handful of artists remained loyal to classical art. They passed on the technical know how to some dozens of followers. These in turn started their own academy or studio and now train hundreds of students. Right now there is exponential growth.
Because of this strategic choice for education thru books, videos and the internet the classical tradition is secured as far as the transfer of knowledge is concerned. That is for the first time in history.

World wide network
The ARC is projecting itself world wide and has a extensive network. Part of this is TRAC – The Representational Art Conference, a movement for the present-day classical tradition.

TRAC The Representational Art Conference

TRAC The Representational Art Conference

There is a co-operation with MEAM – Museu Europeo d’Art Modern in Barcelona (modern here means representational) and several classical academies such as the Florence Academy of Art, that has now opened an establishment in New York.
There are links to art magazines, such as Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air Magazine.

Fine Art Connoisseur

Fine Art Connoisseur

Winslow Homer in PleinAir Magazine

Winslow Homer in PleinAir Magazine

Davind Kassan in het MEAM

Davind Kassan in het MEAM






My hobby horse
I have always cherished a deep wish that a movement would come up to root present-day classical art indissolubly in society, to gain recognition on all terrains where this is lacking right now: in academic art history and philosophy, in (art) education, in the leading museums, media and public policies.


My hobbyhorse. Gezien van de Riet

In the Netherlands realism has proven its right to exist. It should be widely present in ‘official’ art history or national museums. It is unbelievable, but all this is blocked by a couple of philosophers, like Lyotard, who maintain that realism and beauty equal kitsch.
The taboo on realism in academic art history has hardly or not been broken. If I’m wrong, tell me.
It is strange that the media have been ignoring realism for more than thirty years – or as good as. The general public have hardly any knowledge of the wonderful works of art that have been produced. They have been kept away from culture full of beauty. It is striking that when a national newspaper does pay attention to a exhibition in a gallery, the number of visitors immediately jumps up, and so do the sales.

It is a miracle that in Holland so much has been accomplished against so many odds. More and more art galleries sprang up, plus a Realism Art Fair, plus two classical academies and a number of other schools, plus several private museums. Within Europe, realism in the Netherlands has probably progressed the most. But, partly because of the economic crisis, it has become more vulnerable. It is not rooted in leading institutions, so it can just seep away again, with only someone like Henk Helmantel as a footnote in art history.
“Everything comes and goes in waves – that’s history”, you can hear sometimes. Sure, but it’s not the wind that makes these waves. It’s people. That’s why it is so great so many people exert themselves for realism. That’s why it is great that the ARC exists.

Do you want to give my ARC gallery a ‘like’? You can! Please do, at:

Der Weg ist das Ziel

Der Weg ist das Ziel

Opinion poll:
Last summer, a tractor pulling a trailer drove up on a camping site in Spain. A farmer from Germany was on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In calligraphic letters he had painted on his trailer: “Der Weg ist das Ziel” (“The Road is the Aim”).
Does that motto also apply to art? Please give your reaction!

Translation Jeroen Strengers

TRAC2014. It’s moving!

Gezien van de Riet

“It seems like we’re back in the time of Impresssionists!” – a comment to be heard at The Representational Art Conference 2014, in March this year in Ventura, California. I participated in this heart warming and enriching event, the second of this kind, organized by the California Lutheran University. Michael Pearce and Michael Lynn Adams were the leading organizers. The theme was the significance of realist art today. Almost 350 participants –artists, philosophers, art teachers, art historians, publicists, gallery owners, and art collectors – participated in lectures, panel discussions and art demonstrations. They came from the US and Europe. It was already characterized as “the most important movement in the art world of today”.



michael lynn adams en michael pearce

Michael Lynn Adams en Michael Pearce


Brandon Kralik

The moment
Brandon Kralik, painter, writer (Huffington Post):
“We are only now getting a large body of well-trained painters who are young. This is the perfect time to start discussing content, meaning, and philosophy. TRAC2014 is precisely the forum for such discussions.”

Jeremy Lipkin was one of the artists giving a demonstration:

Jeremy Lipking fasen

Jeremy Lipking fasen

Here you could see what a photo doesn’t show:



he mixed one colour nuance after the other on his palette, and all of these colour touches next to each other joined perfectly, like an ininterrupted melody. A true master!

Peter Trippy, editor of ‘The Fine Art Connoisseur’, discussed strategy. The question is: how do we gain a space on different levels, like museums, the media, or art history. For too few people know of our existence. So co-operation is necessary. And, fellow artists: for the moment please stop talking about using photos, about loose or precise painting etc., because within five minutes you will be at each other’s throats and we won’t get anywhere with representational art! Think of the wider audience, that is not interested in splitting hairs over these matters. Conquer the audience!

peter trippi en teresa oaxaca

Peter Trippi and Teresa Oaxaca

A sample of the many discussion topics: What is the meaning of realist art?, What is kitsch?
Roger Scruton –known from the BBC documentary ‘Why Beauty Matters’– and Odd Nerdrum had a dialogue that earned them a standing ovation.
Everybody said goodbuy with great enthousiasm, because a TRAC2015 was already foreseen!

odd nerdrum, roger scruton

Odd Nerdrum and Roger Scruton

“I felt a sense of community that I have never experienced as a painter.”
“I am reminded that I am a part of a bigger movement with important work to do.”
“TRAC was very stimulating I loved the social part of it. That said if you had asked different people in attendance “Who is your model of a great representational artist?” things start to fall apart. I would say David Park, Kara Ross would say Bouguereau and Brandon Kralik would say Odd Nerdrum. There are some real differences underneath the excitement.”
“There are many, many of us, I’d venture to say a vast majority of TRACkers 14 who felt a total sense of community on the level never experienced before. A community of purpose. A community of vision. A community of worldview. A community of philosophy in ART and in life. A community of intent. A community of what we stand for and of what we can’t stand. All of which has very little to do with any particular ‘look’ (that be much too reductionist).”

Translated from Dutch by Jeroen Strengers

TRAC2014: www.trac2014.org
TRAC2015: www.trac2015.org
Video: Introduction to TRAC2014

Lecture ‘Imitatio et Inventio’
TRAC2015 is held from 1 till 5 november in California and I will give a lecture about true to nature realism.


Fine Art Connoisseur with White Abeles

Fine Art Connoisseur with White Abeles

My ‘White Abeles in the Dunes’ was finalist in the Art Renewal Centre’s (ARC) competition 2015 and is now published in Fine Art Connoisseur!
ARC is a museum for representational art and actively promotes it. So does Fine Art Connoisseur.