Kees Smits

1945 · Netherlands

Artist biography

Kees Smits is regarded as a well established artist, who originates from the Netherlands, like other renowned artists such as Ine Lamers, Marjolein Rothman, Dina Danish, Jan Willem Van Welzenis, and Simon Schrikker. Kees Smits was born in 1945.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Kees Smits' work is available for viewing at Slewe Galerie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Kees Smits most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Slewe Galerie in Amsterdam (17 January 2020 until 14 February 2020) with the exhibition Solo exhibition.

Historical Context of Netherlands

The Netherlands has been established as an artistic and cultural centre for centuries, for instance through the international influence of renowned artists such as Jan van Eyck in the fifteenth century. In the 1600s, the Dutch Golden Age saw the emergence of such distinguished artists as Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Van Ruisdael. Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh is considered as one of the most significant forerunners of the post-Impressionist period and is still regarded as an extraordinary, unprecedented painter that has influenced the art sphere regardless of any era or movement. At first established as a magazine, De Stijl was a movement that established abstract art in the Netherlands, led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesberg. De Stijl artists would espouse a visual language solely composed of geometrical shapes, and the movement also had a significant influence on modern architecture as well as design. Gerrit Rietveld was a prominent architect and designer who embraced the ideals and the essence of De Stijl in his work. Willem de Kooning was also a Dutch national, though he migrated to the United States in the earlier years of his life, and his work was predominantly influenced by the Abstract Expressionism movement prosperous in New York City in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Further Biographical Context for Kees Smits

Born in 1945, Kees Smits' creative work was largely influenced by the 1960s. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time stirring both hope and anger, the 1960s triggered an outburst of cutting-edge ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact internationally, largely defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the crucial idea that art should exist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to obliterate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Minimalism became significant through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was a fundamental by-product of the latter, simultaneously critiquing and glorifying popular culture. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for example, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism deeply influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.

Kees Smits

  • Exhibitions 1

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