Category Archives: Toon Teekan

Toon Teeken Photo books 1968-2015

The exhibition Toon Teeken Photobooks 1968-2015 & Recent Work is now on view in the Bonnefantenmuseum untill februari 28. Toon Teeken (1944 Heerlen – Maastricht) has been working on his photo books for over 45 years. The exhibition focusses on the photobooks as well as some recent paintings and some sketches from Teeken. (1)

I visited this exibition in Maastricht yesterday principally because I was interested in Teekan’s photo books which he has been keeping for 45 years. I really admire someone who has the tenacity to maintain work like this. The books proved to be a great insight into the progression of Teekan’s work. In the beginning (1968) they were normal family photo albums. With time they developed into something else entirely. They became works of art in themselves. Teekan cut out images and pieces of information from books and magazines and stuck these into his books alongside sketches for his new work and ideas he was developing. He cut out sections of each page allowing us to look forward and backward at work in the book.


Book cover 2012: Toon Teekan


Book cover Toon Teekan


These cut outs always involved very straight lines and clean cuts. In recent years Teekan has been working on representing language visually. He gives each colour a letter and develops a narrative on the canvas using colour lines. He explains in a video at the exhibition that his canvas is an image of an image in his head. There is always something going on below the images so very often his work has a lower part as well as the main theme.


In addition to the books some of Teekan’s latest works were on display. I was fascinating by his “Read my Lips” shown below

Read my lips: Toon Teekan

Read my lips: Toon Teekan

where he uses this narrative technique. He also expresses music visually. The other main theme in the exhibition were works on “the external brain“.

External Brain: Toon Teekan

External Brain: Toon Teekan