Bart Soutendijk Custom wire art and steel-rod wall murals

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Excerpt from: ****Wondrous Works in Wire

The Art of Bart Soutendijk

by: E.L. Enloe

Gallery One Eleven is featuring the wire sculpture of Bart Soutendijk in a one man show March 2 through April 3 at 117 E. Erwin in Tyler. A reception for the artist will be held Friday, March 12 from 9pm at the gallery. Mr. Soutendijk will be on hand to discuss his art and demonstrate his technique. If you haven't seen these wondrous works in wire, then here's a chance to see the artistic process as well as the finished piece.

Entitled "Representational Drawings in Wire" these finely formed wire sculptures are beautifully fluid and remind one of flowing pen and ink drawings. Mr. Soutendijk's art appears to be made of one continuous piece of wire. A few are, but most are actually made of numerous pieces skillfully blended together.

The inspiration for each piece is usually a black and white photograph that the artist takes himself. In the past Bart made tracings to use as templates, but now each sculpture is made with the aid of a computer drawing that serves as a blueprint. The designs are first drafted on the computer, then printed out as a full scale pattern from which the artist works. Soutendijk's materials include: steel and copper wire, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, a soldering iron and paint.

He begins the sculpting process by laying down the computer drawing, then starts to bend and twist the wire into the desired shape. Bart says "Nothing is permanent as long as you have pliers." Although sometimes he refines his pieces too much and has to start over. Soutendijk actually likes to "live" with his works for up to a year making adjustments until they are just right. Bart even signs his name in wire and incorporates it into every sculpture.

At first glance, these representational drawings may appear as just some interesting curved and twisted wire, but within these remarkably simple shapes are cleverly crafted outlines of humans and animals, even whole scenes. Carol Holt says, "His ability to capture the essence of an image is truly amazing" and his sculptures are "pure, simple and magical" and I agree wholeheartedly.

The artful magic of wire and glass

From :The Hickory (N.C.) News, Thursday, April 11,1985

Profile/Bart Soutendijk by LINDA SETZER


From a single piece of wire, Bart Soutendijk can create a moving portrait of a mother and her baby or a humorous monkey expressing his disdain for the world.

With stained glass he can recreate a favorite photograph or indulge in a bit of erotic whimsy. Painting, whether in water or oil, is merely another facet of his artistic expression. No peaceful landscapes here; emotion is the theme. Portraits are more than faces, they reflect life.

"I've been a photographer and a graphic artist and I was an art director in the advertising industry on Madison Avenue." Says Bart, whose build suggests he might also have played football as a young man.

Although Bart's work is in many mediums, they all stem from his real interest, drawing, which takes most of the creation time. Once the drawing is finished, the rest goes fairly quickly, he says. On each creation is his signature. On the wire sculptures the signature is created from a paper clip and on stained glass it's from copper wire.

"Wire sculpture is a sort of three-dimensional line drawing," says Mr. Soutendijk about his art. "Wire has an advantage over line drawing. If you don't like a facial expression, a small bend changes it. Nothing is permanent as long as you have pliers."

The artist's favorite subjects are portraits. One, a wall hanging that measures 4 x 5 feet, represents a symphony conductor at work. Another shows Andres Segovia with guitar. Others are of his children and friends. Many of his more recent sculptures are made with one unbroken wire.

"I get my ideas from photographs I've taken myself or seen in newspapers or magazines," Mr. Soutendijk says. "I make a small sketch, enlarge it and use it as a pattern for bending the wire."

His wire creations are already included in private collections in Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. One sculpture, a pregnant woman (which shows the developing child as part of the sculpture), is included in the permanent collection of a Philadelphia gallery. Another sculpture (an eight foot high flute player) is part of the structure of a Bucks County, PA designer house.

"My hope is to make even larger sculptures out of metal," says the artist. "Or to design and build neon sculptures based on some of my designs."