Henri Sarla

Born in 1959 - Belgium


Henri Sarla was born in Belgium in 1959. He started his career teaching art to disabled children and then entered the graphic industry. In 2002, he started to paint with oil, a technique which he learned thanks to an intensive practice and the reading of ancient manuals. During the following years, he experimented with various ways of doing, from the glacis technique of the Flemish Primitives to the impressionist techniques.

One finds in his paintings a refusal of useless details, as well as a marked interest in composition, developed through his job as graphic designer and his many years practicing photography.

Fascinated by empty spaces, time and memory, Henri Sarla showed us the abandoned architectures of the seaside resorts along the North Sea. Austere marines, lines of horizon, lines of waves, puddles of grey water, and in the foreground, sometimes a breakwater or a dyke, and a few elements of urban furniture, the only clues of a human presence.

His works have as model amateur photographs which were re-worked by numerous sketches and re-composed by computer, and then painted in muted tones. Despite the nearly-obsessive references to the Belgian coast of the 1960’s and 70’s, the overwhelming impression in those works is that of a universe where the spatial and temporal marks fade away.

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