(Rotterdam 1900 – The Hague 1974)
Dated 1953 and numbered Nº 2 on the back of the frame
Oil on board, 40.1 x 38.1 cm
– Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague
– Private collection, the Netherlands
In artist’s frame.
Willem Hussem is a renowned Dutch painter and poet whose art, after the liberation, quickly changed when a new abstraction came into being: free and unregulated expression of personal feelings and fantasies.
In his early years, Hussem mostly painted in a figurative style. In 1918, he moved from Rotterdam to Paris, where he met modern painters such as Georges Vantongerloo, Piet Mondriaan, and Pablo Picasso. In the mid-thirties, due to international tensions and the threat of the fascist regime in Germany, Hussem and his wife came back to the Netherlands and settled in The Hague.
During the war, art primarily needed to be understandable: still lifes and landscapes, preferably depicted realistically. This radically changed after the war when artists arrived at spontaneous abstraction, each in their own way. Hussem embraced his new-found freedom by abandoning recognisable depictions. Calligraphy became a major inspirational source, which led him initially to all kinds of expressive forms and, later, to balanced compositions of lines, colours, and forms against a monochrome background, as can be seen from this work on offer.