Emo Verkerk was born in 1955 in Amsterdam and studied at Ateliers ’63 in Haarlem. He has exhibited extensively both nationally as internationally, and his work is included in many important public and private Dutch collections.
Emo Verkerk made his name with portraits, a genre that is hard to pin within the visual realm of contemporary art. Having been loyal to portrait painting ever since the turbulent start of his carreer and having explored this genre in his own way, says a lot about his consistent way of working and looking. Moving against the tide fits with the character of Emo Verkerk who uses it to his advantage in a refined way. Meanwhile he demands a lot from his viewers whom he declines to please. His quasi-naïve style is treacherous and can evoke resistance. But who looks at his work with a good eye, will be lavishly rewarded. So much painterly ability and visual richness is scarce. This headstrong artist knows intuitively which means to apply to book his profits, though a positive outcome is never guaranteed. Size, technique, material and color are used as tools in a search of unexpected visual finds and a convincing substance.
Solo exhibitions include “Graag of niet / Love me or leave me”, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, NL (2015); “Belle van Zuylen”, Willem Baars Projects, Amsterdam, NL (2015); “Emo Verkerk”, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, NL (2000); “Nass und Trocken” Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen, Cottbus, DE (1999); “Schilderijen, aquarellen en objecten”, Art & Project, Slootdorp, NL (1999); “Emo Verkerk”, Stadsmuseum Woerden, Woerden, NL (1997); “Emo Verkerk”, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL (1988), “Emo Verkerk”, Marian Goodman, New York, US (1982)
Verkerk’s work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions, including “Held op sokkel” Haags Historisch Museum/Museum de Gevangenpoort, The Hague NL (2015-6); “Wrijving van gedachten”, Antwerpen-Zundert Het Vincent van GoghHuis – Zundert NL (2015); “Facing Nature”, Museum Belvédère – Heerenveen, Oranjewoud, NL (2014); Rob Birza, Morgan Betz, Frank Koolen, Joseph Semah en Emo Verkerk, Willem Baars Art Consultancy, Amsterdam, NL (2011).
Museum and public collections include: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL); Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (NL); Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL); Rijksmuseum Twente, Enschede (NL); ABN AMRO Kunststichting, Amsterdam (NL); Kunstcollectie KPN, the Hague (NL); Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam (NL) and Ahold Kunst Stichting, Zaandam (NL).