28 August, 2017 | Share Article
From 24 May 2017 through 01 October 2017. Location, Museum de Fundatie
Friso ten Holt (1921-1997) grew up in the 'artist village' of Bergen, province of Noord-Holland. His body of work includes oil paintings, drawings, etchings and water colours, all remarkable for their clarity and use of colour. He also designed monumental stained glass windows and tapestries. Ten Holt taught at various art schools. One of his students was Jeroen Krabbé, whose work can be seen in the exhibition ‘Het late licht’ (‘the late light') elsewhere in the museum.
Broad-brush colour fields, rather than intricate detailing, were Ten Holt's principal focus of interest. Background and foreground are given equal weighting in the painting. Harmony in the painting, achieved by a repetition of forms and colours, is key to Ten Holt’s work. Standing on the shoulders of his father, Bergen-born Henri ten Holt, he incorporated the influences of Picasso and, most of all, Cézanne. Friso ten Holt's colours are radiant and clear. Many of his later works invoke the atmosphere of a walk along a blustery beach with a cutting northern wind.
Ten Holt experienced his heyday in terms of sales and international acclaim during the 1960s. The left-leaning British art critic John Berger introduced the artist to the British public through a series of articles and a TV interview, which precipitated a rush of his work at his 1962 London show.
In the wake of this sudden fame abroad, the Netherlands also began to sit up and take note. Various museums started purchasing Ten Holt's paintings.
Until now, Friso ten Holt has been better known among his peers and the museum community than among the general public, in contrast to his brother, the composer Simeon. This exhibition seeks to redress the balance. Approximately 50 paintings and 35 works on paper, from both private and public collections, will show the work of Friso ten Holt at its most colourful and radiant.
A monograph on Friso ten Holt, initiated by Stichting Otto B. de Kat, will appear in tandem with the exhibition.