Vincent, P.M. en Lucassen
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
This canvas by the Dutch artist Reinier Lucassen can be divided into three vertical bands. On the left there is a narrow band of white with small areas in the primary colours, yellow, blue and red. The central part shows the portrait of a man sitting in an armchair, against a colourful background. The right part shows a window with a view over a rock by the seaside in which the perspective is distorted. Most of the areas of the painting are fairly even in terms of colour and structure. The flowers in the background have been painted with thin brushstrokes in different directions. The man’s head and neck are painted using broad brushstrokes of thick paint.
In the 1960s the attention in the art world was mainly devoted to abstract, minimalist or conceptual work, but there were also artists who used figurative elements in their work in a new way, such as the Pop Art artists in England and America. The Nieuwe Figuratie, of which Lucassen and Raveel were members, was founded in the Netherlands and Belgium. They made work in which there were recognizable elements but no uniform spatial cohesion. Some of the elements seemed open to different interpretations. For example, the white band with areas of colour in 'Vincent, P.M. and Lucassen' can be seen as an abstract element, but also as a curtain through which you can look into the space behind. The lilac background of the central part and the green wall with the window can be seen as two walls in the same room. However, the armchair is cut off and can therefore not be in the corner.
Lucassen juxtaposed the possibilities of a flat surface and the suggestion of space, of figurative and abstract elements. In addition, he made references to important people and movements in the Dutch history of art. In 'Vincent, P.M. and Lucassen' he referred to Vincent Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian in the title and in the image. The man with the green eyes is Van Gogh and the band of white with coloured areas is reminiscent of the work of Mondrian and De Stijl. However, Lucassen also referred to the work of older Dutch masters such as Johannes Vermeer. His work often contained the themes of a person in an interior, a curtain in the foreground and a window in a side wall. Lucassen’s painting is a sort of summary of artistic visions in paintings through the centuries. The new work built on this basis, as well as the addition of his own name in the title, give him a place in the history of painting.
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