"Northern New Mexico Village, 9" x 12", oil on canvas
Henry Balink (1882
Born in Amsterdam, Holland, Henry
Balink became a painter of New Mexico atmospheric landscape and Pueblo
Indians as well as a printmaker and teacher. His work has bold colors
and strong composition.
He studied art for five years at the
Royal Academy in Amsterdam where he received strong classical
background and the ability to depict images with clarity and realism.
He paid for his education by working as a bicycle racer and ice skater,
having no support from his parents who discouraged the pursuit of his
art talent. He then went to New York and Chicago where he did portrait
commissions and a large mural and was employed by the Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
In 1917, he and his wife were in Taos, New
Mexico, having had their curiosity aroused by a railway poster in a
train terminal. In 1923, he settled in Santa Fe and there came into the
subject matter that became the central theme of his work for the
remainder of his life--the culture of the American Indian.
bright colors and bold brushstrokes, he did numerous Indian portraits
as well as landscapes, and his painting in New Mexico showed a much
lighter palette and looser brush work than his earlier ones. The
natural light was of course an influence as was the need to work fast
to capture the activities of the Indian ceremonies. He also carved his
own picture frames.
eleven, Henry C. Balink left his home in Amsterdam, Holland to pursue
his interest in art. From 1909 to 1914 he studied at the Royal Academy
in Amsterdam and then left for America in 1914. He went to New York
City to find inspiration from the art hanging at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
Later he moved to Chicago to paint commissioned
portraits and had some luck selling eighteen paintings. Not thoroughly
satisfied, he saw a poster of the southwest in a railway station and
was instantly inspired to move to New Mexico. In 1917 he made his first
visit to Taos and later settled in Santa Fe. He lived there from 1923
until his death in 1963. He painted the Pueblo Indian, taught art and
made and several important private collections.
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