Willem Speekenbrink

1953 · Netherlands

Artist biography

Willem Speekenbrink is an established contemporary visual artist, who was born in the the Netherlands, like other famous artists such as Bram Bogart, Remco Torenbosch, Jans Muskee, Han Van Schaaijk, and Jack Brandsma. Willem Speekenbrink was born in 1953.

About Willem Speekenbrink's work

Willem Speekenbrink is famous for producing conceptual work. Emerging as an art movement in the 1960s, Conceptualism has attracted a significant amount of controversy and debate, often provoking intense reactions in its viewership. Conceptual art by essence implies that the idea behind the actual artwork is more valuable than the finished product itself. The research and strategies conducted by the artist represent the most important part of the work, conceptual art thus aims to be an art of the mind, instead of appealing to the senses. Although it refers to art from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s, the origins of Conceptualism can be traced back to 1917, with Marcel Duchamp and his controversial artwork Fontaine, which tried to erase the boundaries between art and reality. Conceptual art is not as straightforward as other movements, as it uses an interdisciplinary approach, and the artworks can take the form of anything - from everyday objects to performances requiring audience participation.

Willem Speekenbrink's Gallery representation

Willem Speekenbrink's work is on display at Brutto Gusto in Berlin, Germany.

Historical Context of Netherlands

In the post-Impressionist era, the dutch Vincent Van Gogh is considered among one of the most significant innovators, and is of course seen as one of the greatest painters of all time, regardless of the era. Willem de Kooning is also Dutch, although he emigrated to the United States at a young age and his work is most closely related to the New York City Abstract Expressionist scene of the late 1940s and 1950s.

Further Biographical Context for Willem Speekenbrink

Willem Speekenbrink was born in 1953 and was predominantly influenced creatively by the 1970s. Conceptualism is often perceived as a response to Minimalism, and the dominant art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that succeeded were all representative of a strong desire to evolve and strengthen the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous 1960s. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, including some of its most essential aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outsides, initiating early philosophies of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given another chance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism almost two decades, the genre regained its prominence through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The cosmopolitan and refined position that New York city held in the 1960s remained just as influential in the 1970s. With multiple global renowned artists gravitating the galleries and downtown scene, the city once again reinforced its reputation as the artistic hub of the generation. Street art started to appear as a true and accepted form of art towards the end of the 1970s. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were pioneers in proving that their artworks could exist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Driven by graffiti art, street art from its earliest days showed that it could endure in a constant flux of self-transformation, eternally shifting the boundaries of modern art, becoming a truly ground-breaking artistic genre.

Willem Speekenbrink

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