Suzanna Treumann & Jan de Beus

Diese Ausstellung formuliert nicht nur ein Statement zu
expressiver niederländischer Malerei der Gegenwart,
sondern sie wird zu einer Begegnung mit zwei großartigen Liebhabern der Farbe.

© Dr. Heike Welzel-Philipp

The exhibition doesn’t only formulate a statement about expressionist Dutch painting today, but also becomes a meeting of two true colorists/ two painters who love color very dearly.
© Dr. Heike Welzel-Philipp, translation Suzanna Treumann, to be edited soon!


Jan de Beus & Suzanna Treumann at the opening

This photo shows Jan and me before his gorgeous painting of a cemetery, and on the right Istanbul, a favorite of mine, a very vibrant painting. Apart from being a great expressionist painter, Jan is very joyous, knowledgeable and kind!

The opening night



Expressionist Dutch Painting Now




Gallery Köppe Contemporary

Köppe Contemporary
Knausstraße 19
14193 Berlin (Grunewald)

Exhibition: 22nd of January – 26th of February 2016
Artist talk 20th of February 2016 3pm
In English. For more information:

More about the exhibition




Grey Desert Victory

Grey desert victory, 125 x 145cm, olieverf op doek, 2011 copy

Grey desert victory, 125 x 145cm, olieverf op doek, 2012

When I was confronted with feelings of sadness and loneliness, in the shape of an unfinished painting of grey mountains, rolling over the canvas like waves, and a sad empty sky hanging over it, I could not paint for a week. I felt paralyzed.

But one afternoon I was in my studio and realized that I could make a change. And with inspiration I watered the desert, until it bloomed.

I picked up some tubes of orange, yellow, ocher, burnt umber (a deep brown color), soft pink… And started painting. Scared at first. But soon diving into that painting. I was taking over. I was working from optimism and joy.

A vase caught fire. The sky lit up in reddish pink tones. Desert flowers in strange shapes came tumbling through the landscape. Colors were the way out of this desert, and a new and better day was looming at the infinite horizon. This was my Grey Desert Victory.

Copyright Suzanna Treumann

Self portraits


Moss on my face, detail, 2006

418148865_790008c1ff_o copy

untitled collage, paper, photograph, fur, 2006


untitled collage, drawing, photo, fur, 2006

Untitled, watercolor on paper, 2005

Untitled, watercolor on paper, 2005

Untitled, white cube at academy Aki, 2006

My first video – painting – photo installation (no photos on my blog) that I presented in 2004 was about ‘loving myself’. I decided to become my own model and muse. I was looking out of my window, so there was already a sense of an inner and outer world.

I had a second wave of production around ‘myself’, or better said my emotions, using my face, when I made small works about grief in 2005-2006. (Photos above) I made many varieties of self portraits. Some of them crying self portraits. Often portraits with closed eyes. I had a braid, which fell apart and the different parts were transparent like tears. I drew many portraits of myself as a stone sculpture with moss on it.

Self portrait, oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm, 2007- 2008

Self portrait, oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm, 2007- 2008

This painting is in a way the end of that period. Beginning 2006 I started painting in oil. I experimented more and more with color and subject matter. My portraits needed a surroundings.  My way of seeing my self portraits was that they were autobiographical without showing literally what they were referring to.

Somehow painting myself is a recurrent element in my work. It brings me back to my emotions, making honest work, while experimenting. I follow my impulses and get new ideas while I’m in the process of painting. I started this painting before I chose to continue my studies at the painting department, and finished it by changing the color of the body to brown, when I was studying there.

Suzanna Treumann, self portrait, acrylic and oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm, 2015Self portrait, acrylic and oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm, 2015

I switch styles within a day. Before painting this one recently, I struggled with several more naturalistic, dark self portraits, and in the end, this very light and more abstract self portrait came out. One I could only paint because I had been struggling to get my face on the canvas in those other paintings. So it often takes many paintings to get to what I was looking for. In the past years and with my two international moves, the self portraits have given me a ‘home’ when I felt like I was disappearing and was overwhelmed with the newness of my surroundings. In such moments I need to go back in time, work with an older theme. And especially the self portraits make me feel connected to what’s going on inside me while the surroundings are changing.


Tulpenwoede/ Tulipmania, oil on canvas, 145 x 125cm, 2010 - 2012

Tulpenwoede/ Tulip mania, oil on canvas, 145 x 125cm, 2010 – 2012

During the period that I painted this painting, 2010 – 2012, there was an aggressive debate going on about the necessity of art in the Netherlands. Being known as a quite liberal country with a vivid contemporary art scene, it came as a shock to people involved in culture and arts.

Right before I left for France, the museum I worked at, was in danger of closing down. Galleries were also closing because of the crisis. The budget for art in general, provided by the government, was cut drastically. The biggest problem was the way politicians talked about culture and art, as if it were all worthless, a left wing hobby as they called it. This shocked everyone who was interested in art. This kind of uneducated and uninformed point of view was used to appeal to the common man, so to say. I like the common man. Aren’t we all laypeople, until we know more about something? Working at Rijksmuseum Twenthe, I saw it as my job to inspire people to see art. By learning more about it, you see so much more. I once showed 17 year olds BC Koekkoek’s landscapes, and they couldn’t believe that those were painted, they thought they were photographs. I also showed them Sam Francis’s painting that was part of the show Abstract USA. It was white in the middle, had a zen feeling about it, with colorful splashes of paint like a frame around the blank space.

I like it when people don´t understand. I don´t encourage their ignorance, neither do I try to convince them of it. I like it when people find something, art, bad or ugly or overpriced. It´s useful when they tell me how they feel. Art is a very personal and emotional thing, and we are all entitled to our own emotional experiences, and we feel better when those are heard. I used to think Willem de Kooning´s art was just bad, until one year later I was completely obsessed with it. I like how art takes time to appreciate. It teaches us that first impressions can be deceiving. And that´s as true in life as it is in art.
There were also a few still lifes and a tulip vase in the museum. I taught visitors about the tulip crisis, in Holland, the first economic bubble to burst that was documented.

It’s this mix of fighting, striving, the beauty of still lifes, and my love for abstract painting that lead to this painting. Maybe you can see the confusion, someone wanting to speak up, the watch on the left, and the red sky. Tulpenwoede, the original Dutch title, consists of the words tulips and anger, rage. The words combined are best translated as tulip mania or tulip crisis.

Wanting to be one of the dancers

“Wanting to be one of the dancers”

2 MA IMG_20150115_154256413_HDR
Suzanna Treumann, January 2015

Schwere Reiter – Tanz Theater Musik

Art installation, as part of the exhibition at the Schwere Reiter theater, to go along with dance performance “Ground(s) – Diptychon” by Jasmine Morand with David N. Russo, in collaboration with the dancers. A couple of artists were invited to exhibit at the theater, working with a black line that was drawn on the walls. The exhibition was organized by Munich Artists.

I spent three days in the theater, watching the dancers rehearse. I was frustrated with the result at first, unable to catch their swift movements on paper. But just like the dancers kept trying certain passages of the choreography, I kept sketching.

Dancer and the black line, ink on paper, 24x32cm, in possession of David N. Russo

I wanted to get closer to the dancers. They all worked together. It felt good being around them, having my temporary studio in their space.

Dancer, ink and oil crayon on watercolor paper, 24x32cm

1 MA IMG_20150114_190708 Black and white
Choregrapher Jasmine Morand and Fabio Bergamaschi posing

There was a certain pose that I’d seen and that had moved me. I made a sketch and showed the dancers what I was looking for. The dancers were so kind as to follow my directions when they posed for me in this picture. The female dancer is a choreographer as well. My directions made her laugh.

10 Dancers MA IMG_20150117_020251569 copy2
Dancers, ink on paper, 24x32cm, in possession of Jasmin Morand

2 MA IMG_20150115_154256413_HDR
I realized that watching this group of dancers rehearse had made me feel lonely as an artist. I too, wanted to belong. I too, wanted to move my body instead of sitting still while bodies danced their way through my pile of sketches. That’s when it clicked. I had to get passed my shame and work from what I felt. I changed what I was doing, stopped being an observer and started being a dancer.

I put on black clothes and photographed myself with a remote control. I painted a body on soft paper. I hung the body on the hanger, hung it on the black line and posed as a dancer.

I danced my solo dance by the box in which a male and a female dancer normally do a performance about intimacy. I imagined I was communicating with the dancer’s couple inside the box.

7One of the dancers took a break behind the box while I continued to photograph myself.

I went back to my temporary atelier where I’d been working making sketches of the dancers. It was a few hours before the premiere, and time to leave. I said goodbye to this place by painting with my feet.​

One of the dancers came to join me and we made an abstract painting together. With, grey and blue and red drawing ink, mixing it to a violet grey. It was fun. We talked about being an artist and being a dancer.

Dancer Mamel Sacas and I painting with our feet. It was like dancing and painting at the same time. Polaroids by Emmy Horstkamp

9 MA IMG_20150115_222856192_HDR
I photographed some of the sketches I had made of the dancers during the rehearsal.

© Suzanna Treumann 2015