An Abstract Composition
gouache on paper
55 x 66 cm. (imagesize)
Johannes (Jan) Battermann (Amsterdam 1909 – Amsterdam 1999) was a Dutch graphic artist, painter, illustrator, watercolorist and draftsman. He lived and worked in Amsterdam and, around the war, was a student at the Quellinus Applied Arts School, the National Normal School and the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten. He also took lessons from, among others, Willem van den Berg, Jaap Luttge and Gerard Westermann. Besides as painter of expressionist and non-figurative work in gouache and oil paint, Battermann was a graphic artist and maker of a large number of ex libris. Due to illness, he was confined to bed for a while in the 1950s, but friend Cor de Wolff introduced him to graphics. In bed he makes linocuts, wood engravings and etchings. After his recovery, he took up painting again, dominated by abstraction from the 1960s onwards. His preference for subjects was figure representations, interiors, nude figures, abstracts and self-portraits.
Karel Appel was one of my fellow students at the Rijksacademie and when Karel Appel asked Battermann for Cobra after the war he had one strict condition: hundred percent figurative work. Jan declined the honor as he wanted to follow his own freedom, his own path. His career could have gone a different direction.
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