Maarten Fijan

Netherlands

Artist biography

Maarten Fijan is an artist, who was born and brought up in the Netherlands, like other renowned artists such as Luuk De Haan, Anton Rooskens, Van De Mheen, Irene, Artfolly Amsterdam, and Sebastiaan Straatsma.

About Maarten Fijan's works

Maarten Fijan is a notable figure within the fields of Minimalism and Abstraction. Minimalism is an art movement which emerged in New York city in the post World War II era, its essence emanating from a strong will to escape the pre-set conceptions about art, and make artwork flourish in its own reality rather than just mimic life. Known as one of the most influential art movements of the 1960s, minimalism sought to grow away from abstract expressionism, which was the dominant genre in the late 1950s. The fathers of Minimalism were greatly influenced by European abstract movements, and works by the Dutch De Stijl artists, Russian Constructivists, as well as members of the German Bauhaus, which had laid the groundwork for radical abstraction. Some of the most influential artists of Minimalism include Frank Stella, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. Honesty and modesty are among some of the key elements in Minimalism, which finds its core in a blank of emotional responses or metaphorical elements. Geometrical shapes and sleek, clean lines are creating artworks that will provide the viewers with powerful visual responses, but its goal is not to inspire emotions, nor to reflect the artist's personal expression and feelings. Minimalist artists were tired of the gestural elements found in previous art movements, and were seeking to remove any elements that would suggest self-expressionism. As Frank Stella said, the essence of Minimalism is that "you see what you see".

Born in the early 20th century, abstract art can be defined as a movement evading the classical definition of art, which succeeded in creating its own tradition through freedom and a new perception of reality. In abstract artworks, the objects are schematised, modified, and hold little to no reference to reality. Abstract art represents a fundamental moment in modernism, and its roots can be traced to Impressionism. With Abstraction, the artists are free to explore deep into their emotions, and create completely new and liberated representations of the world, which are inherent to their own perception of it. Wassily Kandinsky, who believed that colours and shapes could be used to represent the artist’s inner turmoil, is often considered as the father of abstract art.

Historical Context of Netherlands

The Netherlands has been recognised as an artistic and cultural capital for centuries, for instance through the global influence of celebrated artists such as Jan van Eyck in the fifteenth century. In the 1600s, the Dutch Golden Age saw the emergence of such illustrious 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 seen today as an extraordinary, outstanding painter that has influenced the art sphere regardless of any era or movement.

Originally established as a magazine, De Stijl was a movement that pioneered abstract art in the Netherlands, led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesberg. De Stijl artists would adopt 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 powerful 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 thriving in New York City in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Maarten Fijan

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