‘Looking is experiencing’, Kees Verwey’s silent love

Kees Verwey’s Silent Love (until 13 February 2023) is on display at the Verwey Museum Haarlem. The Verwey Museum Haarlem reopened its doors to the public last week after a major renovation. Verwey Museum Haarlem connects history and art and can be visited seven days a week at Groot Heiligland 47 in Haarlem.

Kees Verwey (1900-1995) preferred to paint in his studio at 108 Spaarne in Haarlem. He expressed his own thoughts about his painting in 1978: ‘You can find the same formula for all subjects that I have done over the years: to see, but always to look different […] because to see is to experience, and it is for the experience of me to do so. The longer I look, the stronger the experience I get from it.

Kees Verwey made a name for himself in the 20th century with his colorful still lifes, portraits of contemporaries, his flower paintings and studio works with his own studio at Spaarne in Haarlem as a backdrop. He was known for his stubborn, stubborn personality. In 1984, for example, he bequeathed his property to the municipality of Haarlem, but when the municipality hesitated to find a good home, he withdrew this offer and transferred his work to the Kees Verwey Foundation, of which he himself was chairman. .

The Kees Verwey Foundation, where Wim van Krimpen, former director of the Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Fries Museum and the Kunstmuseum The Hague, is now a board member, and the Haarlem Museum have entered into an intensive collaboration that has led to the new name. The foundation also helped with the realization of the painter Kees Verwey’s exhibition and the redesign of the museum. Wim van Krimpen is actively involved and the driving force behind the partnership and the new name. Van Krimpen:I’m very happy about that, because I’ve been working hard on this for the past year. The Verwey Museum Haarlem is a place in the Netherlands where we can honor Kees Verwey. And it is not only interesting for the people of Haarlem. With the new name, we are trying to get a new and wider audience for the museum besides Haarlem residents.

About Kees Verwey The painter Kees Verwey (1900-1995) studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Haarlem and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Verwey’s style grew out of Impressionism. He became known as a painter, watercolorist and draftsman. His work was honored with the Rembrandt Prize and his work is in the collections of, among others, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Singer Museum in Laren and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Thanks to the Kees Verwey Foundation and the Frans Hals Museum, the Verwey Museum Haarlem has access to countless works from different periods of the painter. These works are displayed in rotation in the Verwey rooms of the museum. Kees Verwey’s The quiet love shows his beloved still life.

Exhibitions at the Verwey Museum Haarlem In addition to the Verwey exhibitions, the Verwey Museum Haarlem has a retrospective of the most famous sculptor in the Netherlands, Mari Andriessen. In ‘Close to Mari Andriessen’, never-before-seen works from family and private collections, medals, drawings and sketches of preliminary studies are on display at the Verwey Museum Haarlem until 20 March 2023. Andriessen, who was born 125 years ago this year, is became known for his war and resistance monuments such as De Dokwerker (Amsterdam, 1952) and The Man in Front of the Firing Squad (Haarlem, 1949) and Anne Frank (at the Westerkerk in Amsterdam), but he also did a lot of other work.

The painter Erik Mattijssen also presents his still lifes in ‘Erik Mattijssen’s silent loves’, until 24 October 2022. In Mattijssen (1957) things that are easily overlooked often play a leading role. He likes to look at how simple tools are arranged on kitchen tables, in living rooms, on windowsills or a stall. Sometimes he gives the imagination a big spin in small scenes where there are things that don’t really belong there.

Students of the Coornhert Lyceum also exhibit linocuts inspired by the engravings of Dirk Volckertsz Coornhert (1522-1590). Coornhert was an idiosyncratic thinker and artist. Works by the students from the 4 havo drawing class at Coornhert Lyceum, led by teacher Harm van Ee, show this attitude towards life and express contemporary issues including Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, oppression and corona demonstrations.

The ongoing ‘Allemaal Haarlemmers’ exhibition is about the history of Haarlem and Zuid-Kennemerland. Experience 1000 years of the city’s history and meet special Haarlem residents in a completely new setting.

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