Wim Schuhmacher (Amsterdam 1894-1986) is one of the best-known artists around Magical Realism. He trained as a house painter and was an interior artist's assistant from 1911 to 1913. He mainly taught himself free painting and some evening lessons from 1913 onwards. He found his inspiration in Breitner, Toorop and Van Gogh. But as a young painter in Amsterdam he also had plenty of opportunity to become acquainted with the luminism of Leo Gestel and Jan Sluijters. He was a member of the modern art circle and the independents, which also brought him into contact with the Neo-Impressionists, the Parisian Cubists and the German Expressionists.
Van Gogh was a great inspiration among French fauves, Dutch modernists, writers and art critics. Also for Schumacher. If he had mastered the French language, he might not have stayed in the Netherlands but traveled to the Borinage like Van Gogh. He then mainly worked in his own variant of the Amsterdam luminist style, the heyday of which was a few years earlier. With his admiration for Van Gogh, his work became increasingly intense.
In Rotterdam Schuhmacher met his colleague Herman Bieling, who was seven years his senior, with whom he could paint together. His work has been shown at associations such as De Branding, De Rotterdammers, De Onafhankelijken and the Hollandsche Kunstenaarskring. In his work he experimented with color, line and plane to achieve greater expressive power. This style, also called kubo expressionism, flourished in the period 1916-1925
In 1920 or 1921 he settled permanently in Amsterdam with his second wife and from then on he developed his own realistic style. The couple visited Berlin, Paris, Bruges and several Italian cities. Foreign travel became a regular part of his life, also to work there.
For example, he painted autonomous, unearthly lights in his works – before Schuhmacher played an important role. His attention to this is associated with his interest in medieval culture, which increased sharply in the 1920s without also wanting to paint religiously. Like Toorop, he showed the sound lines as visible in Gothic and music in his work.
His atmospheric, realistic paintings are in the same category as those of Carel Willink and Pyke Koch. And they have the same neat technique - comparable to that of the painters from the Golden Age - as well as the theme and attention to details. The work is just more monochrome.
Schuhmacher was opposed to art other than Willink and Hynckes. He was also related to Mondrian, whom he regularly visited in his Parisian studio in the 1920s; Mondriaan does it abstractly, I focus on nature, reality. “I don't want to ignore it. I want to get through it.”
He was "The Master of Gray" because of the gray haze that seems to cover his later work. That gray, the contours and the realism were experienced as a victory for him. He suppressed the strong expressionist touch and color and the cubist design. Towards the end of his life he became considerably less productive due to increasingly poor eyesight. Schumacher's work can now be found at More, Voorlinden, Museum Arnhem and other museums in the Netherlands.