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Colorful JAS

Colorful JAS - Lyklema Fine Art

JAS, pseudonym for Johannes Adrianus Smit (Hillegom 1945 – 2002 Antwerp), joined the Hillegom painters' club 'Lijn en Kleur' at the age of 17, where the Leiden artist Henk Klinkhamer was also a member at the time. The two later formed the art group Sybarit together with Robert van Vliet in 1986. In his early twenties, Smit traveled to Sweden and found inspiration for his Svensklandskappor, landscape works, and the colors of the landscape. His trips to Germany fascinated him with German expressionism. In addition to landscapes, female nudes were frequently the subject of his studies.

He disliked tube paint and decided to make his own paint. This paint, which was soft and could be easily applied with a knife, is easily recognizable in his works. Around 1980, Smit designed and produced the so-called JAS chalk (also known as Clowny), which he claimed was also used by Willem de Kooning (in whose studio Smit worked for some time) and later in modified form by Karel Appel. Smit claimed to have been inspired by the colors of the flames that occurred during a plane fire at O'Hare International Airport in the fall of 1979 when designing this chalk. Only with his own chalk could he capture the colors he saw there. In 1983, Smit settled permanently in Belgium, where he continued to experiment.

"When I paint, I don't think, I listen to the sounds of the North Sea and the cries of the seagulls. The reeds and the color of the sandy soil, the beach grass that is so special in color. It moves, just like me. I slide on the canvas and curse inwardly. Nature lends me a hand. Sometimes it's a hit. April unfolds, and bam.... there comes the color, with force!"

While he worked vigorously in his paintings, his chalk drawings were much subtler. JAS also created many special art objects and installations such as the Antwerp 'Blue Arcken' from 1983 and the Vidiwall compositions, which he realized together with, among others, audiovisual and graphic artist Lode Cafmeyer. Other examples include Trembling Art Moment (1989) in Hillegom and the triumphal arch Grande Arche Mu (1994) in Lisse. JAS was a painter/performer and gained international reputation with his works inspired by the Bulb Region. In 1999, he sprinkled the Hofvijver in The Hague with a million yellow tulips.

JAS via Art Depot
Hofvijver installatie JAS 1999 als ode aan Vincent van Gogh
Hofvijver installation JAS 1999 Ode to Vincent van Gogh
Nude JAS Gouache met krijt
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