Jaski Art Gallery

(Amsterdam, 1924 - Alkmaar, 1994)

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Lucebert, who’s real name was Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk, was and still is a well known painter and poet. He began studying at the Kunstnijverheidsschool in Amsterdam in 1938. He left it after a year and a half, but continued to produce drawings and paintings. His poetic work was discovered by Gerrit Kouwenaar in 1948. Lucebert became a member of the Dutch Experimental Group and later also of CoBrA. He participated with his poetry at the CoBrA exhibition in Amsterdam in 1949, at which point he left the movement.

Although his involvement in CoBrA was only brief and tangential, it was nevertheless of fundamental importance for him as a poet-artist. CoBrA stimulated him and other experimental poets (including Vinkenoog, Kouwenaar, Elburg and Schierbeek) to commit themselves fully to the freedom of language that they had hitherto explored only hesitantly. At the same time, it also left deep marks on him as a painter.

During the 1950s he was subject to many influences, and in this period he concentrated mainly on painting. The myths that he created both in his expressionistic paintings and in his poems were rooted in the human world and are full of literary allusions. In the 1960s he became particularly interested in the child-like CoBrA style, but this quickly gave way to a caricatural, demonic vision of the world, which he kept on expressing until his death in 1994.