1920 · Netherlands
Jef Diederen is an established contemporary artist, who originates from the Netherlands. Jef Diederen was born in 1920. Some of the artist's contemporarie that are from the same generation and country include Christiaan Karel Appel, Dick Bruna and Ad Dekkers.
About Jef Diederen's works
Jef Diederen is regarded as a main figure in the fields of Abstraction and Expressionism. Abstraction, in literal terms, means distancing or suppressing one thing from another. When it comes to the visual arts, it can be understood as creating an artwork which distances itself from a true representational reference point. The movement first came to be in the early 20th century, and can be seen as an attempt to release the artist’s creative energy, through freedom and constant self-renewal. In abstract artworks, the object is schematised, with the use of colours and textures, thus creating a fundamentally new idea of reality. Abstract art can be traced back to Impressionism, and paved the way for a significant number of movements, including Cubism, Surrealism, or Abstract Expressionism, which is still considered to be one the most powerful contemporary art movements. Some critically acclaimed artists renowned for their contribution to Abstraction include Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, or Pablo Picasso.
Expressionism can often be considered more as an international tendency than a coherent art movement, which was particularly significant at the beginning of the twentieth century. It covered various fields such as art, literature, music, theatre and architecture. Expressionist artists sought to express emotional experience, rather than physical reality. World renowned Expressionist paintings include Edvard Munch’s The Scream, Wassily Kandinsky’s Der Blaue Reiter, and Egon Schiele’s Sitting Woman with Legs Drawn Up. Expressionism is a complex and grand term that has meant different things at different times. However, when we speak of Expressionist art, we tend to think about the artistic tendency which emerged as a reaction to Impressionism in France, or the movement which emerged in Germany and Austria in the early 20th century. The term is so flexible that it can be representative of artists going from Vincent van Gogh to Egon Schiele and Wassily Kandinsky.
Historical Context of Netherlands
The Netherlands has a reputable heritage for art and design in the twentieth century culture, although its position as a cultural powerhouse had been long established, centuries before the fifteenth century, when artists like Jan van Eyck were amidst the most well-known in the world. The Dutch Golden Age of the 1600s brought such personalities as Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Van Ruisdael. In the twentieth century, some of the earliest examples of abstraction in the Netherlands were emerged under the support of the seminal de Stijl movement, led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesberg. Gerrit Rietveld was an influential architect and designer whose work is closely related to the ideas of De Stijl.
Further Biographical Context for Jef Diederen
Born in 1920, Jef Diederen's creative work was predominantly inspired by the 1930s. The period of the 1930s is characterised by the conflict between a number of political ideologies, including Marxist Socialism, Capitalist Democracy, and the Totalitarianism of both Communism and Fascism. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s government needed urgent funds to implement the rapid industrialisation demanded by the first Five Year Plan. It initiated a secret plan to sell off treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), including a preliminary list of two hundred and fifty priceless paintings by the Old Masters, a number of which found their way to the collection of Andrew Mellon via the New York based art dealing company, Knoedler.