Throughout her artistic career Mart de Houwer was eager to experiment. Remarkably she mastered a large variety of materials, each with its one set of rules. She worked in ceramic, bronze, pencil, ink, marble, aluminium, polyester, sandstone, silver and Cortensteel. She investigated a theme in a group of works, but she never made copies or worked in editions. Every piece can be seen as a completed investigation.
SHINKICHI TAJIRI (1923-2009)
A recurring topic is the effect of hatchings and the directions of lines. A line could become a string, drawn onto paper or even tied in a 3dimensional knot in bronze or stone. A large example of this knot in white stone was one of her personal favourites. This knot is another interesting reference to Dutch art of that period. Japanese-American artist Shinkichi Tajiri (1923-2009), living in The Netherlands, made it his signature symbol. He wanted to make a sculptural statement that would cut through all the mystification that he felt was invading the art scene. In the knot he found this symbol of immediate recognition with a universal likeness.
Another important motif in the oeuvre of Mart de Houwer is the triangle. Most of her drawings have horizontal or vertical lines, but some have diagonal lines. A step further makes a triangular shape. She created a series of vast sculptures with interlocking triangles, one with the tip facing upwards, the other facing downwards. They are a loose reference to the motif of Sri Yantra, a Hinduistic symbol used as an aid in meditation. Th sculptures are made of sheets of metal, welded together. When looked upon from the front, the material almost disappears, only visible is a thin line.