Hendrikus Jacobus (Henk) van Gemert

Hendrikus Jacobus (Henk) van Gemert
16.03.1913 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - 2002 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Nationality: Dutch


Van Gemert began his career at a graphics company in Amsterdam, where he came to know everything about different printing techniques. When the war began, however, the company found itself in financial straits and Van Gemert lost his job. Yet all was not lost, as at that moment he committed himself to painting, a path that would prove to be his life's calling. During the war Van Gemert took part regularly in exhibitions in Amsterdam and The Hague, where military Nazi leader Hermann Goering bought one of his pieces. Van Gemert met the artist Karel Appel (1921-2006), with whom he shared a studio in Amsterdam, during the last two years of the war. This period can be considered as the end of Van Gemert’s Dutch period. Afterwards he primarily worked abroad.

Shortly after the war Van Gemert left for Southern Europe. He travelled via Brussels through France to Aix-en-Provence, and managed to pay for food and shelter via his paintings. In the vicinity of Aix-en-Provence, Van Gemert painted beautiful and colorful city and harbor views. Foremost among these cities was Marseille, which was frequently his muse. In 1966 Van Gemert and his third wife moved to France permanently. This is considered the beginning of Van Gemert’s so-called "French period."

In 1982 Van Gemert decided to move further south. He left the French Ardèche and took up residence in the Spanish La Coveta Cuma, situated in the region between Alicante and Benidorm. This is when his "Spanish period" begins. He continues to be active artistically and organizes exhibitions of his work regularly. Van Gemert’s paintings show a strong stylistic development over the years. He began with figurative work of an expressionist character, and moved toward work described as abstract with color explosions in his later years. The majority of his work is dominated by a lighthearted atmosphere.  

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Artist's locations

view work by Hendrikus Jacobus (Henk) van Gemert

Harbour View at Cassis, Cote d'Azur

View on the Harbour of Marseille

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