Kees van Bohemen
(Den Haag, 1928 - 1985)
Kees van Bohemen is considered to be one of the most accomplished Dutch painters of the twentieth century. His fame reaches far beyond our boundaries.
After his studies at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts Kees van Bohemen, who was born in the Hague in 1928, obtained a scholarship to study in Paris for nine months. He was only twenty-four at that time. The young painter stayed in Paris for five years and he was in touch with several painters belonging to the CoBrA movement.
At the end of the fifties Van Bohemen, who mainly painted in an abstract way at that time, joined the artistic trend of the “Hollandse Informele Groep”of which Armando, Jan Schoonhoven and Jan Hendrikse were members too. Although he also felt affinity with the group “Zero”, Van Bohemen soon went his own way. Colour became more important. Afterwards he mainly acquired fame with the paintings in which he combined figurative and abstract elements.
At the beginning of the sixties Van Bohemen painted a series of female nudes on large canvases. After his stay in the United States he caused a sensation with his sports paintings of which sports like boxing, horseracing, bicycle racing and car racing were important themes. These paintings often also are of a large size and they are characterized by his virtuosity in handling his paints. Trips through Africa produced exotic paintings. Colour and form remained of utmost importance. The choice of subject was less significant. “I don’t want to work in an anecdotal way, no story-telling in paint”, Van Bohemen once said.
In 1985 Kees van Bohemen died in a hospital in the Hague, he was only 56. His works are a.o. in possession of Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Haags Gemeentemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In recent years there has been an increasing interest in his work at home as well as abroad.