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Jan van der zee

Van der Zee Jan

Jan Van Der Zee was a Dutch artist, born in Leeuwarden in 1898 and died in Groningen in 1988. He was a painter, graphic artist and designer of monumental works. He lived most of his life in Groningen. In 1919 he started his training at the Minerva Academy. There he was taught by F.H. Bach and W. Valk. Van der Zee painted and did watercolours. During the First World War he met Bart van der Leck, who had a major influence on his post-war work. In 1923 he joined the Groningen art circle De Ploeg. His work is constructivist and together with Wobbe Alkema and Hendrik Werkman he was seen as a counterpart to the expressionism of the time. Van der Zee is mainly interested in the aesthetic elements of constructivist visual language. His compositions are made up of abstract, geometric areas of color and usually depict buildings and/or landscapes. After 1926 Van der Zee returns to figurative work. His subjects are the city of Groningen and the surrounding landscape. Farmers with their horses, harbor views or the industrial landscape of the city. His color is dark and sober. After 1945 he starts to work with more color. Within the figurative he continues to abstract his subjects without them losing their representation of reality. In 1958 he co-founded the Groningen painting group 'Nu'. In 1965 he received the Cultural Prize of the province of Groningen. In 1986 a major retrospective of his oeuvre was held in the Fries Museum and the Groninger Museum. (BT)