Jaap Wagemaker


Image 1 of 5

Jaap Wagemaker was born on January 6, 1906 in Haarlem. He is one of the most famous Dutch material painters. In 1920 he trained at the School of Architecture, Decorating Arts and Craftmanship in Haarlem. He chooses the decorative sector. He prefers to paint, but that was not taught here. A scholarship for the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam is rejected. As a painter he is therefore self-taught. In that period he paints expressionist still lifes and animals and provides for his maintenance by decorating lampshades. From 1927 he started painting landscapes near Haarlem with the Dutch artist Piet van Egmond (1889-1965). Between the years 1925 and 1940 his work was shown in various exhibitions and he participated in group exhibitions in the Frans Hals museum and the Waaggebouw in Haarlem. Wagemaker left for Paris for the first time in 1928 with Paris. In 1946 he moved to Amsterdam and moved into one of the well-known studio houses in Zomerdijkstraat. He is fascinated by the modern directions in painting and is attracted to the Cobra style (1948), but Jaap is already over 40 years old and feels too old to seek connection. He prefers to go his own way. He does have a lot of contact with Anton Rooskens (1906-1976). Wagemaker traveled to Paris again in 1952. Here he got to know the work of the material painters Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) and Alberto Burri (1915-1995). As a result, he started to use materials such as sand, jute and wood in his paintings. Another source of inspiration was art from Africa and Oceania, from which he borrowed not only the “primitive” shapes and sober colors, but also the feeling for the magic that can be hidden in objects. Unlike many other Dutch artists who worked in an informal style in the 1950s, such as Armando (1929) and Kees van Bohemen (1928-1985), Wagemaker remained faithful to the expressiveness of matter in his later relief paintings and assemblages. In 1966 he participated in the Venice Biennale and in 1967 a major retrospective was organized in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1970 his work was shown in the Cultural Center in Venlo. He was no longer allowed to experience the exhibition of his oeuvre in the Kunsthalle in Bremen.

(Source: https://www.cobra-museum.nl/artist/jaap-wagemaker/)