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LUCEBERT. 100 Years of Light


Lucebert, Porte – Boneur, 1992, 80 x 100 cm

To mark the 100th birthday of Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk (1924-1994), better known as Lucebert, DIE GALERIE is dedicating an anniversary exhibition to him, thereby honouring the life and work of this important artist.

A prominent member of the CoBrA group, Lucebert was famous for his contribution towards abstraction in art and poetry. He found inspiration in folk, children‘s and primitive art. Even before he turned to painting in his mid-twenties, Lucebert expressed his malaise primarily through poetry. However, pictorial language soon came to the fore and his work, characterised by spontaneous and revolutionary qualities, was to have a lasting influence on the Dutch art landscape. His brief involvement in CoBrA was nevertheless of fundamental importance to him as an artist-poet, as it conferred both his poetry and his painting great freedom, spontaneity and a love of experimentation. His work is characterised by deliberately awkward human forms and fantasy creatures. The psychological aspect of his work is particularly evident in the apparent dialogues between the figures in his imaginary worlds. The myths he created in his paintings and poems are rooted in the human world and full of literary allusions. In the 1960s, he worked particularly in the childlike CoBrA style, but this quickly gave way to a caricatural, demonic view of the world, which he continued to represent until his death in 1994. While Lucebert‘s mode of expression changed throughout his career, despite experimenting with different styles and forms, he retained an unmistakable signature defined by contrasting colours and a spontaneous brushwork. As a contemporary witness, his art was political, social and autobiographical and often called for revolution, reassessment and new beginnings, fully in the spirit of the CoBrA avant-garde.

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