Bram van Velde - © Mark Trivier

Bram van Velde – © Mark Trivier




Bram (Abraham) Van Velde, peintre néerlandais né en 1895 à Zoeterwoude et décédé à Grimaud en 1981. Bram van Velde a produit une œuvre solitaire, en marge de tous les mouve­ments et de tous les groupes, une œuvre peu abondante mais d’une richesse chromatique et d’une unité formelle rares. Très jeune attiré par la peinture, il y consacra sa vie.
Bram Van Velde montre son travail dans des expositions personnelles mais ne lui apportent aucun succès matériel. Samuel Beckett, un grand soutien, lui consacre des articles et présente ses expositions à Paris et New York.
Ce n’est qu’à partir de 1957, lors d’une exposition de son œuvre à Paris qu’il rencontre plus d’audience. C’est l’année suivante, l’organisation de sa première rétrospective qui enfin le consacre (Kunsthalle de Berne). Van Velde a 63 ans, ce premier véritable succès lui ouvre enfin la porte des grands musées et des galeries les plus réputées (Amsterdam, Turin, Paris, Rome, New York, San Francisco, Cologne, Munich, etc.).



Bram (Abraham) Van Velde, born in 1895, in Zoeterwoude and died in 1981 in France, was a Dutch painter. He was born into an intensely poor family, and this would mark him profoundly for life. Bram van Velde produced a solitary work. Attracted by painting very young, he dedicated his life. He is known for an intensely colored and geometric semi-representational painting .He is often seen as member of the School of Paris but his work resides somewhere between expressionism and surrealism, and evolved in the 1960s into an expressive abstract art. His paintings from the 1950s are similar to the contemporary work of Matisse, Picasso. He was championed by a number of French-speaking writers, including samuel Beckett and the poet André du Bouchet. In 1907, the young Bram entered into service as an apprentice in the painting and interior decorating company of Schaijk & Kramers in The Hague. He was encouraged in his art by the co-owner Eduard H. Kramers and his son Wijnand, who were appreciators and collectors of art, and these two would become Bram van Velde’s artistic patrons until around 1934. Bram van Velde continues his work as a painter and decorator, and to enroll in the Mauritshuis  of The Hague, where he was able to copy masterworks in the collection.
In 1958, Franz Meyer organized the first museum exposition of Bram van Velde, a retrospective at the Kunsthalle of Bern. Starting in 1961, van Velde began to achieve a certain critical success. Jean-Michel Meurice made a documentary film about the artist. Van Velde shuttled between Paris and Geneva, and in 1967 he moved to the latter. In 1973, he painted at La Chapelle-sur-Carouge several large gouaches which are seen as the last « savage » appearance of colour in his work. Aimé Maeght took him back in his gallery, almost 20 years after having dropped him. In 1975, he was received by universities in lausanne, Geneva, and in 1980 he was made chevalier of the « Order of the Falcon » in Iceland. For his 80th birthday, a collective homage was published by the presses at Fata Morgana (Montpellier).Bram van Velde died in1981 in Grimaud, near saint-Tropez, and is buried. His mentor and friend Jacques Putman (died in 1994), who supported him and his career after Bram’s departure from Maeght, is buried beside him.








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