A subtle power emanates from the works of Reijer Stolk. His figures often seem to carry a secret knowledge, a wisdom or message, that is conveyed only through the lines of his drawings and woodblock prints.
Reijer – or Reyer Stolk was a Javanese born Dutch painter, sculptor, graphic designer, inventor and batik artist. He studied at the Haarlem School of Arts and Crafts, where Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita was one of his teachers and M.C. Escher a schoolmate. Some of his work is clearly related to the woodblock prints of de Mesquita but over the years he developed a distinct style of his own.
In 1930 he was sent to the Gold Coast and Nigeria on a two-month study trip. The goal was to get design inspiration for wax print textile patterns, that he would do for the Ankersmit Textile Factory (Vlisco). The trip influenced his work and traces of the inspiration he found in Africa are seen in his use of color and motifs in later designs and prints.