Bas Ketelaars

Centre Cannot Hold


‘Creation is also about destruction, when you draw a line on an empty sheet the emptiness is gone.’ After two layers the whole drawing was erased, then three new layers. The middle part is completely black and the paper pushed to its limits. Each new layer destroys somehow the layer before. At the edges of the drawing there’s a lot of information about previous stages. I like the ambiguousness of the middle part which is at the same time suggesting depth as a black hole and blocking this depth by reflecting the light, thus showing the drawing as an ordinary object.

This drawing was started a few years ago and was never finished nor exhibited. It travels with me. The two images show how the light reflects the bulbed paper differently.

'Untitled' (Scroll)





'Untitled' (Carry)

‘Untitled’ (The Light’s from Below) Graphite on paper. 150 x 121cm.

The drawing, which emphasizes the materialty through graphite and texture,  and the  more immaterial printed photographic image complement each other. Different layers are stacked at slightly different positions. The drawing is eighter in between, under or on top of the print.  Which is where may become irretraceble in the process.




At GlogauAir, Berlin






Studio, Breda.

The photo shows  a  studio setting where a landscape drawing is  both integrated/ and set apart in its environment. The paper wall functions as an intermediate between the place  of the studio over here and the nature in the image over there.

‘Untitled’ (Circles #2, #1) Graphite on paper. 150 x 120 cm. each.

Based on the projection of a landscape. This drawing (diptych) was made over a period of almost a year. It was started in my studio and finished in the living room, drawn up to five layers. First the sheet of paper was enlarged at the bottom, then this part was removed again. The remaining part was cut in two and rearranged.  For me this drawing represents a way of non linear working; there’s no clear destination, it travels with me, expanding and contracting, absorbing time and graphite. I guess it was finished when it returned after an exhibition. 

For the documentation of this work I experimented with a spotlight, clearly showing the reflection in the graphite leaving the other parts in the half-light of the room.

Graphite on paper. At Nida Art Colony, Nida, Lithuania.

Temporary work space, Breda. (places)

IS-projects Leiden. photo:Guido Winkler

Transparent tape on Rice paper.




Previous stage, erased layer.




‘Untitled’ (The Centre Cannot Hold). Dimensions between : H150cm.  and H89cm. Graphite on paper.

Photographic image translated into drawing. Different layers and stages of density are spread over several sheets of paper  and several formations. The overlap is essential, making it it clear its one constructed image. The underlying might be invisible its not unreachable.

DARK DRAWN, Vilnius.

‘Untitled’ (Mögligkeitsraum) Graphite on paper 187cm x 150cm.

Movement and stillness. Drawing in three layers from a projected photograph taken during a walk in northern Europe. The upper part shows the first layer where the image was replaced every 5 cm(indicated by black marks; see detail). As a result from these replacements most significant and recognizable elements of the landscape are wiped out. All the information of the forest is there but fragmented in a repetitious pattern like field. The lower part of the drawing has two extra layers, drawn bottom up, where the image wasn’t replaced anymore. The drawing is drawn at both sides which on the one hand emphasizes it’s immateriality, the paper is in between the drawing, on the other hand this causes the paper to bulb which makes the paper material more visible.

[Production time app. 3 months]

At Nida Art Colony, Nida Lithuania.

B-side 'Mögligkeitsraum'

'Out-box', A Suivre, Bordeaux

'Untitled' (Edges of Landscape) Noord-Brabant

Studio, Antwerp. 'Untitled'(screen)

'Untitled' (Simple gestures)




Studio, Breda.

GlogauAir, Berlin.

The tin foil was taped to the wall with transparent tape at the spot with the least daylight in the room, which it reflects. The way the foil is taped to the wall clearly emphasizes its materiality. The drawing is a hand made copy of a photo representing a hole in the forest.  The black graphite absorbs the light . 2019.



At Lokaal 01 Antwerp, Belgium. Photo: Thomas Uyttendaele




De Lading, curated by Lieven Cateau, Wetteren, Belgium.

'Out-box', A Suivre, Bordeaux.

Studio, Kralingen, Rotterdam.

Graphite on Wall. At PARK, Tilburg.

Living Room

Graphite to wall. At IK-Foundation, Oost-Souburg.

Korsholm, Finland.

'Untitled' (Hills, Hills, Hills). Started in Berlin.



At Artists Unlimited Bielefeld.




Image library. Ongoing. (following animal tracks) Nida, Lithuania.

Studio/living room, Rotterdam

Built with