Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works of Art: Lucebert

Works of art by Lucebert are available at if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC.

Contact Wim Roefs at or (803) 255-0068/(803) 238-2351.

De Olympiers, n.d.
Silkscreen, 36/200
$ 550

This silkscreen also is in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. See Lucebert in het Stedelijk/Lucebert in the Stedelijk: Catalogue of all the paintings, drawings, gouaches, watercolors and prints in the collection, Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1979, p. 156, with illustration.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Biography: Lucebert

Lucebert (Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk) is possibly The Netherlands’ most prominent post-World War II poet. He was a member of the late-1940s Dutch Experimental Group, which preceded the CoBrA group and included writers and visual artists. CoBrA, which existed for a few years around 1950, also was multidisciplinary, and Lucebert participated primarily as a poet who illustrated his poems. It was his success as a poet that gave Lucebert in the late 1950s the financial means to paint in oils. The figurative expressionism and elementary figuration of his paintings and drawings fit in easily with CoBrA, though his work was more narrative and satirical with connections to Francis Bacon’s portraiture and George Grosz’s and Otto Dix’s biting depiction of humanity. In the United States, Lucebert’s work is in New York’s Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art and Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art. His work also is in museums across Europe, including Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and CoBrA Museum, the Tate Gallery in London and the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. Lucebert participated in Germany’s Kassel Dokumenta and at the 1962 Venice Biennale won a major prize for his graphic work. In 1986, the Stedelijk Museum acquired more than 800 of his works.

Monday, March 16, 2009

History: CoBrA

C O B R A (1948 –1951)

CoBrA was with Art Informel and Tachism among the post-World War II European art movements that were related to but developed independently from Abstract Expressionism in the United States. CoBrA was named after Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam, the capital of many members’ home countries. The group organized exhibitions and published pamphlets, a journal and short monographs. As an organization, CoBrA only existed about three years, but many of its members had prominent careers afterward. The group’s core figures were Dutchmen Karel Appel, Corneille and Constant, Dane Asger Jorn and Belgians Pierre Alechinsky and the poet Christian Dotremont. Dozens of other artists belonged to the group in some fashion, including Lucebert, Reinhoud and Jacques Doucet. CoBrA art combined the energy, spontaneity and painterly qualities of Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel, the subject matter and imagery of Art Brut, children’s drawings, Nordic mythology and African figuration, and Surrealism’s subconscious approach to making art. It produced an aesthetic that became a mainstay in Western European art.