Art collecting is full of surprises. I started collecting books and art some 50 years ago and in this time I encountered some amazing works of art. I bought only a few and “forgot” to buy many, but I always had an open mind for great techniques. Aat Veldhoen was such an artist. He was arguably the first dutch artist who made his art available for the common people. Selling rotaprints by Jasper Grootveld these “erotic” prints were not appreciated and thought to be pornographic.
These erotic prints can be considered the same as the Japanese Shunga prints, but with less colour and possible more realistic. Still the technique is stupendous. Lifelike figures making love, not hiding themselves and enjoying each other. Veldhoen became famous for these prints and drawings and during his life eventually was admired for them. Now culminating in a great solo exhibition at Museum Kranenburgh ( https://www.kranenburgh.nl/english/exhibitions-and-activities/aat-veldhoen-art-of-life). Unfortunately coles at this moment because of the Covid-19 virus, but hopefully open again later in June. Seeing these great drawings I have a feeling to compare these with Lucian Freud his works. the human figure in all its glory, not hiding anything.
Why this blog on Veldhoen now. …….Yesterday I met with a client who wanted very much to by the Jan Cremer i had in my collection for over 30 years. We made a deal and I sold him the Cremer. Today he came to fetch it and brought a beautiful drawing by Veldhoen of his former wife KABUL. I was very much impressed with this drawing and I could buy it from the Cremer buyer. So now this drawing is mine and I am still impressed by it. There are not many drawings by Veldhoen. A great many of them were destroyed and cut, but this remains and was in its former private collection for over 30 years. It was bought directly from Veldhoen and his a fitting ” Heijdenrijk” frame which enhance s the drawing. A classic ‘nude pose” of by Kabul makes this a typical Aat Veldhoen drawing.
Aat Veldhoen (1934 – 2018) lived for and surrounded himself with his art. He worked in his teeming house and studio on Amsterdam’s Wittenburgergracht. The creative urge that underscored his versatile oeuvre, including drawings, etchings, paintings, photos, ceramics and sculptures, remained unwavering to the end.
Desire, love, sex, illness, old age, death
After studying drawing, Veldhoen set about documenting desire, love, sex, illness, old age and death, all with uncompromising zeal and compassion. This exhibition includes work Veldhoen made after suffering a partial paralysis at the age of 69, as well as Polaroids from the Rijksmuseum collection which have never been shown before.
Veldhoen’s exceptional and enduring curiosity for everything human resulted in an intimate, lifelong study of those around him. We see this in Veldhoen’s countless portraits of himself and his family, friends and artists.
Life and art
The works in Aat Veldhoen – Art of Life show remarkable connections with the work of those he knew and encountered. His life and art were inextricably intertwined. The result is a personal and tender view of human existence. Since Veldhoen often portrayed himself, the viewer is no longer the only voyeur.
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