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Een Nieuwe Synthese, 1988


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis publication is one of the starting points for my collection.

I had been working for 8 years at the Haags Gemeentemuseum when this exhibition was held at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. First there was the catalogue which we sold in the museum shop and then there was the exhibition itself which opened my eyes for the quality of Abstract Geometric art in the Netherlands.

It has been 32 years now since that exhibition was held , but it has proven to be a very important one. Of all the names presented at that time, artists which were hardly known and could be picked up at auction at extreme low prices, many have had their reevaluation, resulting in a steep rise of prices fetched at auction.

Among them names  as Constant, Domela, Hussem, Huszar, van der Leck, Peeters and Vordemberge Gildewart. But among them were so many other great artists. These are now the artist who are on the verge of their breaktrough. I predict that these names will be the future stars in private and public collections. The names?…….. Siep van den Berg, Piet de Haard, Frieda Hunziker, Wim Sinemus, Andre Volten and Nicolaas Warb.

I have the exhibition publication now available at and you can check these names and all others within the exhibition out in the “DE NIEUWE SYNTHESE”

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Wim de Haan (1913-1967)

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Wim de Haan was a self taught artist . He invented a kind of art which can not be compared with anything made in the Fifties and Sixties. If there is an influence i would say early Cobra and Miro, but the result was very WIM DE HAAN art. Sculptures paintings, drawings all are exceptional works of art  and i really admire his art. I think his paintings are one of a kind and very appealing. His sculptures are like viewinh boxes. Opening up and with a look into a fantasy world which is typically de Haan. One of the most recent exhibitions is an exhibition from almost 40 years ago and it is now time for another major exhibition on Wim de Haan to give him a platform he deserves after so long a time.


Wim de Haan was born as Willem Jacobus de Haan in Amsterdam on the 14th of June, 1913. He was active as a painter and as an assemblage artist. De Haan grew up in Haarlem. In 1937 he was sent to Indonesia by the company that he worked for, where he worked as a stevedore and insurer until 1942. In addition to that he was also an actor. He is fascinated by the eastern mentality and takes in a lot of this culture. In 1942 he becomes a Japanese prisoner of war and is forced to work on the Burma Railway. He barely survives this camp and returns in 1946 to the Netherlands. For several years he studies philosophy, psychology and social sciences, he briefly was the manager of an orphanage and he draws and writes poems. In 1951 he published “Freedom in captivity,” a thesis on group phenomena in Japanese prisoner of war camps. In 1953 he decided to fully devote himself to drawing and painting. As an artist he was self-taught. In the beginning his first paintings and drawings exhibited an elaboration of themes and motifs that initially display a strong evidence to pre-war surrealism, soon after his works went into an abstract expressionist direction, in which a clear distinction can be made in his drawings and paintings. His drawings are ruled by expressive line structures, which more or less allow insightful signs tob e recognized. With continuance he keeps researching the possibilities of pen, brush, ink and paper. His unbound utilization of lines are characterized by his drawing style. The lyrical abstract paintings that arise from this process are characterized by abstract signs and unclear confined colored spots. Later on he began to mix ash, sand and other materials in his paints. At that point his painting artistry ran parallel for some time to that of his Dutch friend Jaap Wagemaker (1906-1972). Both are members of the ‘Liga Nieuw Beelden’ (League New Images). Constantly looking for new opportunities, De Haan decides to take a different path in 1957. The two-dimensional plane is broken up by his use of cut-outs, protruding and recessive surfaces. There are all kinds of ‘objets trouvés’ (found objects) added. Finally in 1958, a first exhibition of his work was held at the Galerie ‘t Venster in Rotterdam. As from the 60’s De Haan exhibited on a regular basis in London, but also in Cambridge, Lyon and Frankfurt. At that time he also joined the group ‘Europa’ and the group Oekwa with which he exhibits in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. After 1962 he creates free-standing objects, in which -even more than in his earlier works- his interest in magic and mysticism is reflected. Wim de Haan dies in 1967 in Amsterdam. In that year a memorial exhibition is held in London at the Grosvenor Gallery and about a decade later a big retrospective exhibition of his works is opened in 1975 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

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Gerrit Benner (1897-1981)

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One of my first blogs was devoted to the museum Belvedere where i encountered some wonderful paintings by Gerrit Benner. This blog is solely devoted to Benner because he deserves it. His paintings are among the first abstract paintings which still hold a link with realism in the Netherlands . These paintings are definitely inspired by nature. Skies, meadows and even an abstract cow can be determined in the compositions. Benner is a painter “pur sang” who’s works are rooted in the dutch tradition of abstract paintings. For instance Mondrian used these abstracted landscapes in his own painting from the early 20th century.

on the left a painting by Benner with Red cloud on the right Landscape with Red cloud by Piet Mondriaan

Benner is a great painter who deserves to be known outside the Netherlands and for those visiting the Netherlands. When you visit the Stedelijk, Gemeentemuseum, Belvedere and Museum Twente you surely will encounter a Benner painting in their permanent collections.

There are some very nice Benner publications available at

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George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923)

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What makes this painter so special for me?… Possibly because he made one of the paintings i truly admired when i was young.

One of the first times i visited the Rijskmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum i encountered this beautiful woman, lying on a couch, wearing nothing but a red japanese kimono. Everything is the paintings was new to me. Dutch impressionism, the loose touch with the brush, the high details and the sensuality in the painting made it beautiful to me. What i did not know at that time, is that Breitner was one of the first to use photography as a start for his paintings and this girl in a red kimono ( name was Geesje Kwak , a famous model at that time) would be painted in many versions and depicted on many paintings. There are “Red Kimono” paintings in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Museum Twenthe, Teylers Museum. A few years ago there was this exhibition in the Rijksmuseum on all these versions of the girl in the red kimono. Unfortunately i did not visit it , but i still have some excellent catalogues on Breitner available at www. and study this wonderful painting.


These and other titles on Breitner are available at www.