The autonomous self-assurance of the artist during the first quarter of this century led to a creative impetus and a diversity of expression such as has never been met with since. After the Second World War, the age of intolerance began, endeavouring to allow only those things to gain acceptance which could justify categorization as modern, significant and contemporary. The "consumer" was disqualified of all rights, with the effect that he was no longer permitted to form an opinion whilst enjoying in order no subsequently enjoy while forming an opinion. Criteria were supplied ready-made and "artistic enjoyment" was taboo. Piet Engelman's paintings avoid all categorization, eluding with their independent, artistic quality, any affiliation to one trend, one style... they pay homage to seeing and adhere unwaveringly to the principle of joy. In the paintings, the delights of the open air lead to Arcadian motifs as well as unrestrained colours and a rhythmic arrangement of the pictorial elements. The light, impressionist colour stumps do not impart detail in any spatial depth, but dense structuring, despite the open edges between the spots. There is never just abstraction, ornamentation is inserted amongst the random expanses as a connecting link, the pleasure in embellishing is executed with charm and candour. The decorative abstraction as it were, is ornamentally complemented by the colour, its strength and profusion coordinating the objects and the detail with one another. The decorative colour nevertheless remains substance and despite all its intensity, does not succumb to the ornamental. The paintings bear titles, their points of reference being reflected in the depictions, yet the various elements serve rather to express Engelman's feelings than the motif, seeking happiness and exhibiting happiness in the unrestrained execution of the paintings. A blissful moment -immortalized.
Dr. Gabriele Fahr-Becker Sterner, Art Historian Munich