With Avant-garde Elan: De Ploeg in Groningen

01 September 2013 to 02 March 2014

De Ploeg is the name of the Groningen artists association established in 1918. Jan Altink came up with the name for the circle of artists – which is Dutch for ‘plough’ – as he felt that the Groningen art world needed a good ploughing over in order to germinate. The name proved well chosen: the artists’ take on art proved avant-garde in the following years, open as they were to a wide variety of fresh influences which they eagerly investigated.

  • Jan Altink (1885-1971) Na het bezoek,1925 Was/olieverf op doek Collectie Groninger Museum 76 x 60 cm / 100 x 84 cm
  • Jan Wiegers (1893- 1959) Groninger landschap met kanaal, 1923 Was/olieverf op canvas Collectie Groninger Museum, aangekocht met steun van Vereniging Rembrandt en Stichting J.B. Scholtensfonds 69, 3 x 55, 5 cm (79,5 x 66 cm)
  • Jan Wiegers Music Hall Was/olieverf op canvas Bruikleen Max Cohen 100 x 82, 5 cm

Led by Jan Wiegers, who had been to Davos in Switzerland for his health, where he had become friends with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, De Ploeg painters developed a style of painting that was deeply indebted to German Expressionism. One of their innovations was the painters taking the panoramic Groningen landscape as one of the main focuses of their art. This led to the characteristic landscapes with their high horizons, and lanes and ditches disappearing into the distance. Expressionist colours and brushwork reflected the vastness and untamed nature of the Groningen landscape.

In addition to landscapes, portraits and city life were other favourite motifs of De Ploeg. The portraits that De Ploeg members made of one another illustrate the friendly ties that were formed and which existed within the group of artists. De Ploeg also had a Constructivist school.

There will be work on display by artists including Jan Altink (1885-1971), Wobbe Alkema (1900-1984), Jan Wiegers (1893-1959), Johan Dijkstra (1896-1978), Job Hansen (1899-1960), Ekke Kleima (1899-1958), George Martens (1894-1979), Alida Pott (1888-1931), Jan Gerrit Jordens (1883-1962), Jannes de Vries (1901-1986), Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman (1882-1945) and Jan van der Zee (1898-1988).

Exhibition design
The exhibition was designed by Mariëtta Jansen, Curator of De Ploeg and 20th Century Art.

With thanks to
Funding parties: City of Groningen, Province of Groningen
Media partners: Dagblad van het Noorden, Marketing Groningen
Sponsor: the BankGiro Loterij