My interest in paper started while working as a printmaker, when my engravings had such deep relief, that commercial paper could not fill it.
I decided to make my own paper and was helped by Jo Persoon at the Royal Dutch Paper Factory, KNP. He taught me about beaters for making paper pulp and vacuum systems to suck water out of pulp, to make paper. The laboratory beater I used was unable to process long fibers, so I built a beater of my own design.
A paper sheet is thin and strong and, reinforced with very thin ribs of bamboo, can be compared to a leaf. By beating pulp a long time, an extraordinary play of forces occurs during the drying process of my paper sculpture. The paper shrinks considerably, up to 40%, and the force of this puts the non-shrinking bamboo framework under stress, just as a leaf when it drys.
My sculptures start as totally 2-dimensional, colored sheets of pulp laying on my vacuumtable. The forms in my work are caused by pulp drying and shrinking in unison. The simplicity of the material, which is the carrier, the color, the texture and the form, in one, makes working with it wonderful and direct.
To bring paper art to the public and to be inspired by fellow paper artists, I instigated the Holland Paper Biennial in Museum Rijswijk and CODA, Apeldoorn. With friends, Pat and I have published seven books with the first seven Biennials.
Curriculum Vitae Peter Gentenaar
Born: 13 November 1946, Rijswijk, the Netherlands.
California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland, California, 1969 –1970, MFA
Accademia di Brera, Milano, Italy, 1968 –1969, sculpture.
Vrije Academie, Den Haag, 1964 –1968, painting sculpture and printmaking.
Scholarships and Grants:
The Italian Government 1968, Prins Bernhard Foundation Amsterdam 1969,
Foundation of the Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude the Netherlands 1969
California College of Arts & Crafts tuition scholarships 1969, 1970.
Two experimental year grants of the Ministry of Culture the Netherlands1976 1981
De Vrije Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, painting and drawing, 1974 - 1991
Willem de Kooning College of Arts, Rotterdam, paper- and printmaking 1986 -2011
"In my artwork, I bring my love of nature, its materials and my fascination with technique together.
Coming from a painting orientated culture, I found in paper fiber a material much closer to nature and with much more character than I ever found in paint.
Slowly I turned from a paper user into a paper and pulp maker and while doing so found endless amounts of new possibilities for shapes and forms in paper."