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.

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