b. 1948, Nieuw Lekkerland, The Netherlands
Hans Kooi was born and raised in the Netherlands, nearby the Krimpenerwaard rivers. From a young age he was captivated by the continual movements in nature, especially that of water and the rhythmic tidal cycles. In 1966 he studied at the Rotterdam Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Science and graduated in 1974 with a desire to develop an artistic practice that incorporated his scientific knowledge with a visual language. Heavily influenced by artists such as George Rickey and Alexander Calder, Kooi embarked on his journey to recreate the movement observed in nature.
At first, Kooi was obsessed with motors and magnetism leading him to an over-complicated, robotic outcome. In time, Kooi simplified his method, relying only on magnetic fields to procure smooth, tranquil motion. Through his work, Kooi explores the boundaries between science and nature with the ultimate goal of achieving a balance between the two. Upon his choice of kinetic sculpting the artist states: “Without a doubt the reason lies in nature. I was born and raised in a neighbourhood surrounded by rivers. Water is movement, rivers full of action and mobility. What really fascinated me were the tides. The infinity and movement in nature are the elements that have been captured in my sculptures”. Kooi’s kinetic sculpture, ST n° 6/2016, presented in Movement (2018) follows the artist’s distinctive style of minimal organic forms that move slowly and repetitively around one another. The movement is created from two opposing magnets placed inside the delicate objects.
Kooi’s work has been acquired by public and private collections in the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Sweden and the USA. Galerie Denise René showed his work for the first time in 1986 and has represented him ever since. He has been exhibited in several museums: the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo in The Netherlands; The Musée d’Ixelles and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium; and the Kouvala Art Museum in Finland.