|Starting point||Malmundarium, Place du Châtelet 9, 4960 Malmedy|
A work’s authenticity lies in the triangular relationship that is established between the thing that is, the painter producing it and the person looking at it.
Art consists of the artist’s struggle with himself.
I would love to live long enough to see everything that’s not yet appeared in my thoughts become a reality.
Roby’s passion has been a lifelong pursuit.
Starting to paint when he was nine years old, he continued to do so throughout his life, which can be divided into several very distinctive periods.
He was delighted later on to introduce children and adults to his work.
He longed to be able to offer a retrospective of all his work in Malmedy.
I made a promise to him that I would make it happen.
Roby Hoffmann tribute and retrospective.
“Painting for me is above all an inner necessity, a need to express myself by trying to be clear about my motives, about the subjects that have moved me, to take a stand on essential problems, essential issues. Painting is not a leisure activity but a means of combative action, a way of expressing my view of the world.”
Rising up over and over again, the sea, as Paul Valéry wrote, remains itself while being perpetually different, because no wave ever returns to the beach twice.
I very much like this image which reflects consistency, a form of intensity without the repetition.
Roby Hoffmann’s pictorial development can be seen from this perspective.
Roby and I go back a really long way. I attended his early exhibitions and I don’t think I have missed any stage in his artistic career, whether as a painter or as a three-dimensional artist.
The diversity of his work overall can be surprising: the transition from the figurative to an increasingly refined abstraction is not so much a long, calm river but like the sea on the shore, with the artist continuing his research not only in the field of graphics, but also into disciplined yet sensitive ways of thinking.
The experiences in the Far East have had an impact on the understanding and expression of realities. The perception and portrayal have also been influenced through working with various materials – slate, for example
The way in which Roby Hoffmann’s artistic work has never ceased developing may of course tend to baffle an audience accustomed to pigeonholing artists, applying a stultifying system of labels
This would be to overlook that, fortunately – maybe idyllically – the artist is a free individual whose intellect and imagination guide the hand throughout the creative process.
Roby’s basically spiritual path is about transcending appearances in order to grasp the source of life, the relationships formed within our perception.
In this quest, a full-blown form of self-denial that strips away the contingent in order to free the essential, we understand the role that the void will play, and, conversely, it is this alone that enables us to appreciate volumes, shapes and colours.
Without a window in a wall, how could we know the reality of what exists beyond that wall? Roby creates such openings in the wall of appearances, helping us to see beyond there.
However, rather than being an imposition, his freedom offers us every opportunity to grasp or otherwise interrelationships, but to do so on our own terms.
This is why contemporary art, and Roby Hoffmann’s work in particular, is an adult, responsible approach: rather than leading visitors like children to a specific point, it is important to let them, in turn, make their own way, because it is searching for the treasure that is the most rewarding, not the treasure itself.
Roby Hoffmann does not desert us at the edge of the void, he offers us a path between earth and sky
Albert Moxhet, 11 December 2009