Bram van Velde

Born in 1895 - Netherlands


Bram Van Velde was born October 19, 1895 in Zoeterwoude, not far from Leyde. Self-taught, he was at a very early age attracted to painting, and at twelve years old he began an apprenticeship at Schayk & Kramers’ design studio in La Haye. The Kramer family encouraged him in his art, receptive to his talent as both collectors and art amateurs. They would become his patron until 1934.

His career was moving forward, and in February 1927 he headed to Brême to exhibit his works. He was admitted along with his brother Greer to the Salon des Independents in Paris. There he became close to Paul Guillaume and at that time discovered Matisse and the Piano Lesson, an encounter that would be essential for his work. Influenced first by the German Expressionists, in Paris he opened himself to the influence of the Fauves. He worked until he achieved a personal abstraction to which he would hold true. In a series of compositions of fruit beside a window, he abolishes the distance between interior and exterior, between conceived forms and descriptive elements that here enter a system of contours and rings suggesting interwoven surfaces. He distinguishes himself thus from French artists who achieved their abstract style through Impressionism or Cubism.

It was in 1939 that the artist created his own plastic language, with three large gouaches that would found the autonomy of his art. Tried by the terrors of war, Van Velde stopped all pictorial activity fro, 1941 to 1945. After the war, he returned to his art in full control of the plastic language that would characterize the ensemble of his work. The interior tensions within the painter materialized a conception of space that was imminently personal. He liked to introduce fluidity into his work that most often displayed a luminous transparency.

It was not until the 1960’s, when he moved to Geneva, that the artist would come to know a certain notoriety. After 1961, the rhythm of his expositions accelerated. A film by Jean-Michel Maurice is made about his life.

Bram collaborated on the art review TROU, for which he created an original print to illustrate its one hundred copies. Afterwards he painted his last small format works. Bram Van Velde died on December 28, 1981 at Grimaud, near Saint-Tropez. His friend and mentor Jacques Putman, who had supported him after his departure from Maeght and for the rest career, died on February 27, 1994 in Paris, and rests close to the artist.

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Bram Van Velde - « Sélections d'Estampes » - Galerie Chantal Bamberger, Strasbourg
Bram Van Velde - Galerie Henri Chartier, Lyon
Bram van Velde - Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht
Hommage à Bram van Velde - MAH - Musée d'art et d'histoire, Geneva
Bram van Velde - Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Bram van Velde - Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Bram van Velde - Malerei - Galerie am Markt, Schwäbisch Hall
Bram van Velde, rétrospective - Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul
Bram van Velde - Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO
Bram Van Velde - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Bram van Veld - Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Bram van Velde - Knoedler & Company, New York City, NY
Bram van Velde - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam


Face à l'oeuvre - Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul
Fondation Maeght. De Giacometti à Tàpies, 50 ans de collection - Domaine de Kerguéhennec - Centre d'Art Contemporain, Bignan
Windows - Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort
Que Du Papier II - L.A.C. - Lieu d'Art Contemporaine, Sigean
L'Art en Guerre, France 1938-1947 - De Picasso a Dubuffet - Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, Paris
Una finestra sul mondo - Da Dürer a Mondrian e oltre - Museo d'Arte di Lugano, Lugano
A WINDOW ON THE WORLD, from Dürer to Mondrian and beyond - Museo Cantonale d´Arte Lugano, Lugano
Michel Bohbot de l'art aux livres - Musées de Sens, Sens
Couleur Radicaal - Marres - Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht
A Story of an Edition : From Suites Prisunic to Catherine Putman - Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimée de la, La Louvière
Peinture non-figurative de la Seconde École de Paris (1946-1962) - Musée Rath, Geneva
École de Paris und Umkreis - Galerie Anja Rumig, Stuttgart
Bram van Velde - Geer van Velde - Museum Belvédère, Heerenveen
Bram et Geer van Velde - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon
Que du Papier. - L.A.C. - Lieu d'Art Contemporaine, Sigean
Da Braque a Kandinsky a Chagalll - Aime Maeght e i suoi artisti - Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara, FE
Gipfeltreffen der Moderne. Das Kunstmuseum Winterthur - Museum der Moderne Salzburg Rupertinum, Salzburg
Us and Them 2010 - Tem Art Gallery, Istanbul
Ricordo di Vanni Scheiwiller - Palazzo Pomarici, Matera, MT
Picasso, Matisse, Dubuffet, Bacon... - Les modernes s’exposent au musée des Beaux-Arts - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon
Capolavori della modernità. La collezione del Kunstmuseum Winterthur - MART- Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto
Passions partagées. De Cézanne à Rothko, chefs-d’œuvre du XXe siècle dans les collections privées suisses - Fondation de l'Hermitage, Lausanne
Dans l'oeil du critique - Bernard Lamarche-Vadel et les artistes - Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, Paris
Gipfeltreffen der Moderne - Das Kunstmuseum Winterthur - Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
Bram et Geer van Velde - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon
Onze selectie uit nieuwe aanwinsten - Borzo Modern & Contemporary, Amsterdam
1945-1949 Repartir à zéro, comme si la peinture n’avait jamais existé - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon
Maeght: Das Abenteuer der Moderne - Graphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster, Münster
Be-Bomb: the Transatlantic War of Images and all that Jazz. 1946-1956 - Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona
Dialogue avec le siècle 1906-1981 - Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul
Perspectives VII (selection) - Borzo Modern & Contemporary, Amsterdam
Le noir est une couleur - Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul
Samuel Beckett: a passion for paintings - National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
One Cent Life - Woodward Gallery, New York City, NY
Nederland Grafiekland - Museums Vledder, Vledder
Leporello, Een reis door de collectie - Stedelijk Museum CS, Amsterdam
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam at Usce - Muzej savremene umetnosti Beograd, Belgrade
Collection D'Estampes Contemporaines - Galerie Akié Arichi, Paris
Paris 1945 bis 1965 - Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz
Perspectives V - Borzo Modern & Contemporary, Amsterdam
Un jardin secret - Collection Monique Dorsel et Emile Lanc - Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimée de la, La Louvière
Grand Bazar - The Living Room, Amsterdam
"Master-prints" - Galerie Albert Baumgarten, Freiburg
Exposition inaugurale - l'Herbier & le Nuage - MAC's Grand Hornu - Musée des Arts Contemporains, Hornu
Druckgraphik aus Frankreich nach 45 - MMK Museum Moderner Kunst - Stiftung Wörlen, Passau
Une Ville-Une Collection - Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimée de la, La Louvière
- Galerie Lea Gredt, Luxembourg
Une suite décorative 1er mouvement - Les Coopérateurs, Limoges
It takes two to tango - Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden
Exposition Inaugurale - Maitres Modernes Et Contemporains - Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris
Entre la sérénité et l'inquiétude - Musée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne
1 cent life - Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC
L’univers d’Aimé et Marguerite Maeght - Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul
Les maîtres de l'abstraction lyrique - Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC
L'abstraction lyrique en Europe - Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC
documenta 3 - Documenta, Kassel

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