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'Fauvist' Jits Bakker; more than sculptures

'Fauvist' Jits Bakker; meer dan beelden - Lyklema Fine Art

Jits Bakker (Renkum 1937-Wageningen 2014) worked for more than 50 years as an independent and limitlessly versatile artist. Bakker's father was executed in Camp Vught for acts of resistance and their house was bombed to the ground. Jits was evacuated to Friesland and lived in Sweden for a year after the war to recover. Back in the Netherlands, she attended vocational school and obtained a diploma in decorative painting. Jits became the breadwinner of the family. He worked as a floor upholsterer and wallpaper designer and studied at the Arnhem Art Academy in the evenings. In 1955 he sailed as a sailor on inland shipping for a year, worked at an advertising agency and did his military service in the Navy. In 1959 Bakker graduated from the Graphic School in Utrecht and had his first exhibition of watercolors and portraits in De Reehorst in Ede. From 1962 he worked as a graphic designer at engineering firm Grondmij NV.

Dansers-Beeldentuin De Bilt
Dansers-Beeldentuin De Bilt

From 1969 onwards he fully devoted himself to being an artist and wandered the world. He settled in his studio "de Kooi" with sculpture garden in De Bilt and in Andalusia in southern Spain and later also in the Belgian Ardennes. Sculpting in bronze and marble was his great passion, but he was also active as a painter, glass artist, graphic artist and jewelry maker. Jits' images usually have great dynamics; expressive movement and exuberance are characteristic of his work. From 1959 onwards Bakker exhibited at home and abroad. Bakker is also the creator of the Jaap Eden Trophy (1972) and various other (sports) prizes. In addition to sports, he found inspiration in mythology and music. Since 1999, the Beerschoten Estate in De Bilt has housed a museum collection of more than 30 monumental sculptures. It was a great wish of the artist to make his work freely accessible to the public and it is freely accessible every day from sunrise to sunset. In numerous publications that have appeared about his work to date, the emphasis has been on his sculpture and that is also where most people know him from, but this seriously detracts from his artistic versatility.

Paruchitist-Airborne Museum
Paruchitist-Airborne Museum 

Sculpting in bronze and marble was his great passion, but he was also active as a painter, glass artist, graphic artist and jewelry maker. Famous commissions at home and abroad have ensured that he achieved international fame for his art. Jits' images usually have great dynamics; expressive movement and exuberance are characteristic of his work. But 'silent' and intimate images are also part of his oeuvre. Man is Jits Bakker's most important subject. Important sources of inspiration for this included classical mythology, music, dance and sports. With this universal theme, Jits opted for a recognizable, timeless visual language.

In December 2014, Jits Bakker posthumously received the “Sport and Art Award” from the IOC, for spreading the Olympic values ​​and its significance for sport. In the Netherlands, for example, the Jaap Eden trophy is his work. Due to great national and international interest in Jits Bakker's work, the need arose to develop a permanent open-air museum for the community. Since 1999, there has been a museum collection of more than 30 monumental sculptures by Jits Bakker on the Beerschoten estate in De Bilt, which are permanently exhibited. It was the artist's great wish to make his work selflessly available to the public. The art collection on the Beerschoten estate was officially donated to society by Jits Bakker in 2009.

Jits Bakker-Museum Veluwezoom

He also had unmistakable qualities as a painter, draftsman, watercolorist, glass artist, graphic artist and maker of jewelry. He embraced the Renaissance principle that man came to this earth to develop himself in as versatile a way as possible. After all, Jits started his artistic career by practicing painting with dedication. Initially he mainly worked in the continuation of the impressionist tradition, but over the years he increasingly developed into a true expressionist. And within that movement he developed in the direction of Fauvism. Jits Bakker has remained a painter through and through. Although his images have taken off at an unprecedented rate, there are an impressive number of sketches, watercolors and paintings that testify to this. He favored portraits, figure studies and especially landscapes. Jits was in a sense a genuine plein airist and painted as he experienced it and therefore in which personal emotions and experiences are captured

In 1962 Jits Bakker made his first glass mosaics and until his death he made works of this colorful, transparent material that provide special light and color effects. And as far as jewelry is concerned, he saw a piece of jewelry as a miniature statue with all the characteristics of autonomous sculpture. He also made many graphic works. The universal man in him came out in all kinds of ways. In terms of themes, material control, craftsmanship and visual language, he proved himself to be an all-rounder. He was a doer and a researcher; a man who examined everything and retained what was good; someone who had concluded for himself that life is valuable in extremes and not in conservatism and mediocrity.

Bakker married twice and had 4 children, including son Tibo van de Zand who also works as an almost fauvist painter. A foundation manages his legacy and the sculpture garden with more than 30 statues that are now officially owned by the province. The Jits Bakker sculpture park is freely accessible every day.

We once sold the image below and are always looking for more images and paintings by this artist.


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