When i started to collect art ( editions) i must have been 16 years of age and one of the first lithographs i acquired was one by Ans Wortel. A feminist artist who found her inspiration nearby. A feminine, mother, child approach to her subjects made her work very accessible and understandable to many. This together with the strong graphic quality these works were very appealing and at that time i bought 2 lithographs for my starting collection.
These were sold a long time ago because i found the works after many years to become less interesting. This was now some 30 years ago, but lately i rediscovered her works, because when you look at them again after not seeing them in a very long time , you discover them to be timeless and well worth collecting. There were other things to discover about Ans Wortel because at her peak she had some important exhibitions and became very popular as an artist in the Netherlands resulting in multiple exhibitions, among them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com
In the 1970s, the paintings and prints of Ans Wortel (1929–1996) were hailed by critics and purchased by major museums. Her work, imbued with intensely feminine themes, was very much in demand. The artist became a well-known Netherlander, whose non-conformist lifestyle spoke to everyone’s imagination. In the village of Bergen, where she lived for 20 years, her villa Kranenburgh is now museum Kranenburgh.
Where her fellow artists sought innovation in abstraction, Ans Wortel remained faithful to figuration, developing a distinctive visual language and palette. Her paintings feature tough and robust women, with large hands and eyes, surrounded by surreal landscapes.
In 1968 the mayor of Bergen offered her villa Kranenburgh. Many were the parties in her building – more numerous were the stories about her eccentric lifestyle. Her free-spirited life is reflected in the countless drawings and paintings that filled Kranenburgh. When, after twenty years, she had to leave the villa, she protests vehemently, but in vain.