Wobbe Alkema. The absolute, the lucid

26 January 2009

From 15 March to 14 June 2009 the Groninger Museum will present an almost complete collection of Alkema’s earlier work, including paintings and prints. In addition, the exhibition will show work by artists belonging to the De Stijl movement as well as by Werkman and Van der Zee, two of Alkema’s fellow members in the De Ploeg artists’ association. Alkema received the greatest appreciation of his artistry in Belgium, from the artists Josef Peeters and Felix de Boeck. Some of their work is also on display.

Wobbe Alkema (1900-1984) is a remarkable artist who developed his own abstract style of painting almost completely autonomously. In the 1920s, because he closed himself off from Expressionism, he was a loner within the De Ploeg association. He took his inspiration from other Constructivists in the Netherlands and Belgium. After abandoning painting for a period of almost fifteen years, Alkema resumed his artistic work after WWII. Although this later work was less absolute, it still retained an exceptional individuality. The exhibition will also show work from this period.

His contacts with Josef Peeters and Felix de Boeck were of great significance in the evolution of his work. Alkema’s abstract work from the 1920s possesses extraordinary quality. With apparently simple ingredients, he manages to create endless variety, and in all these variants Alkema sought harmony and contentment. Alkema had a serious nature, and pursued his own route through the world of art with great tenacity.

This exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of volume 9 in the series of monographs on De Ploeg artists. This volume is entitled Wobbe Alkema. Het absolute, het heldere. It contains an extensive biographical article and an essay in which the theories of De Stijl and the Flemish Constructivists are compared and explained in more detail.
ISBN: 978-90-71691-69-0
Price: € 29.50

Note for the editor, not for publication
For more information, please contact:
Josee Selbach, jselbach@groningermuseum.nl, Evelien Bijlefeld, ebijlefeld@groningermuseum.nl, tel: +31 (0)50-3666555, www.groningermuseum.nl.

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