Artist Jan van de Pavert was awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 1998 for his work Villa Naispier, an imaginary villa in the form of an elaborate drawing.
It incorporates every form of artistic expression. Drawings, frescos, sculptures, scale models and computer animations represent the rooms, patios and gardens. The artist’s evident fascination with the project makes it all the more interesting to visitors. Van de Pavert uses his considerable talent as a sculptor to give a very personal, original shape to his ideas. For an artist of his age his stature is exceptional, not only in the Netherlands.
Jan van de Pavert’s art is recognisable and personal. In the course of the past fourteen years he has developed into a multifaceted, outspoken personality, and has moved successively from painting to sculpture to computer art to watercolours.
As evidenced by his work, Van de Pavert is keenly interested in architecture and art history. For the Villa Naispier he drew an elaborate plan with a text in the form of a numbered guide, like those for castles and palaces. Unlike other guides, however, the spaces described are all imaginary. Besides describing the historical styles and other architectural references, it tells a story about a person – likewise fictional – who supposedly purchased the land with the original buildings in order to combine and expand them, the result being a hybrid villa.
Fantasies based on the past are also found in Van de Pavert’s recent drawings and paintings. The images recall the realism of the 1920s and the historical idealism of the early 20th century. In this work Van de Pavert’s subject corresponds to that of his ‘architecture’: the ideal of an environment designed by artists; a belief he shares with other members of the avant-garde of this period. Inspired by this ideal, Van de Pavert’s work is decidedly optimistic.

Since 1984 Jan van de Pavert has participated in over seventy solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad. He took part in the prestigious Sonsbeek 1993and in 1994 the Central Museum in Utrecht devoted a large exhibition to him. His work has been purchased by various institutions, including the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller in Otterlo, de Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst, The Centraal Museum Utrecht, the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and the Ferens Art Gallery in Kingston-upon-Hull.