'Firstly I remember the way Lucassen used to look at things, his eyes so indescribably still and attentive. The eyes of a painter looking at things in order to make them still. Painters look with intense patience so that they will not disregard even the smallest of things. They look that way at a painting for a long time while it is being made – until the work is finished. It is finished when the painter no longer knows how to continue. But still he goes on looking and peering to see what the plane of colours and figures looks like and to make sure nothing has gone unnoticed. You never know what else might come along.' (Rudi Fuchs)
'The common thread in his work, as he formulates it himself, is “the search for an artistic form that is a synthesis of various perspectives. Art that, in doing so, gives shape to a variety of feelings.” In pursuit of this, Lucassen brings contrasting concepts together in a way that removes their contradictory elements and allows them, instead, to complete one another. He wants to unite them in an organic whole. Combining apparently incompatible things ignites his fantasy and opens up the space for entirely unexpected and previously unknown images to exist. Taken out of their original contexts and placed in connection with new objects, the obviousness and casual existence of certain images are broken, and the images are given a new meaning. He breaks down old truths in order to present new associative possibilities.
This publication brings together unknown works of art, never before reproduced. Often fresh off the easel, they had disappeared into private collections or other Dutch museums. It is about time that these works become available to a broader public. Featured here are the early paintings in which Lucassen provocatively brings figuration and abstraction in confrontation with one another. He doesn’t want to reconcile the young tradition of abstract art with art’s age-old mission of depicting reality. Rather, he seeks the overlap between the two, knowing that a good painting exists in the graces of stunning refinement. He goes on to make assemblages and modifications: ways for him to respond to and contradict our reality. Influenced by his interest in “primitive art”, in which objects are ascribed a particular spirit and emotional value, Lucassen goes on to use different signs and symbols to express his thoughts and feelings. They become abstract mood drawings with no direct bearing on reality, devoid of anecdotal content, yet born out of real associations and intuition.
Lucassen creates an almost mystical worldview where each element has a particular symbolic value. He juggles with contrasting concepts of language and image, male and female, figurative and abstract, body and soul, nature and culture, beginning and end. And miraculously, they form an inextricable whole, strengthening one another.'