Dirk Herman Willem Filarski was born on October 15, 1885 in Amsterdam. In 1901 he became a student of the Applied Arts School Quellinus Amsterdam and later of the Rijksschool voor Kunstnijverheid Amsterdam. During his student years, Filarski made friends with, among others, Dirk Smorenberg, Matthieu Wiegman, Germ de Jong, Wim Schuhmacher and Arnout Colnot. With the latter he formed the core of the Bergen School. The characteristic features of the Bergen school are the use of muted colors, with brown, green and yellow predominating, and a design that greatly simplifies the observable reality, but at the same time always remains recognizable. The influence of Cubism, which was brought to Mons by the French painter Le Fauconnier, is often clearly visible in this design. Filarski also painted mainly luminist and in light colors at first, then in brown and green, making his work more powerful and expressionistic. In addition to landscapes, he also painted flowers and still lifes.
In 1908, Filarski, Smorenberg and Colnot exhibited at an exhibition of Sint Lucas in Amsterdam, where works by Leo van Gestel, Piet Mondriaan and Jan Sluijters were also on display. There he was discovered by art collector August Maschmeijer (1848-1922) who would become his sponsor for a while. In 1912 Filarski left for Switzerland. They both painted mountain landscapes with striking color accents (purple, pink, lilac-blue, light and dark green) with an impressionistic touch and without details, making it almost abstract. After the death of his mother, he temporarily painted in dark colors. Bergen art collector Piet Boendermaker bought many (452) paintings, which again gave Dirk a lot of scope to make many trips.
After 1923, Filarski started working with lighter colors again. He traveled frequently to the south of Europe. With Matthieu Wiegman, Filarski traveled through Tuscany to Rome in 1925 and in November of that year the restless Filarski worked in Collioure, France.
The robust way of working with large monumental surfaces was abandoned and more attention was paid to detail in the treatment of the subjects. Even after the first divorce, Filarski continued to travel, including with Willem Schumacher in Spain. During the war he hardly traveled and did a lot of work around Giethoorn and Bergen. In 1946 Filarski traveled to Norway where he painted a number of landscapes in light colors. In 1947 he married for the second time to Lien Smorenberg, his friend's sister. This marriage also did not last. Lakkie, as Dirk was called by friends (because he didn't care about everything), continued to travel despite caring for his two children. His works made in Morocco are beautiful and have a finer brushwork. In the period 1950-1960 Filarski made many gouaches. This technique was more suitable for someone who was almost always on the road, because less material (cloth and easel) had to be dragged around. Filarski died on February 28, 1964. In 1977, 1979 and 1980 he also had posthumous (solo) exhibitions, including at the Wending art gallery on the Rokin. Filarski was a member of Arti et Amicitiae and St. Lucas in Amsterdam, Pulchri Studio in The Hague and De Onhoudenen in Amsterdam. He won the silver medal at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937. His work can be found in, among others, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, Amsterdam and Maastricht, whether or not in storage.