Wim de Haan



1958 91.5 x 112 cm Oil, ash and cinder on burlap

Biography of Wim de Haan

Wim de Haan (1913-1967) worked as a trade agent in the Dutch East Indies. During this period he was called to fight as a soldier in the war against Japen. When taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese, he has to work on the Burma Railway. To handle these many traumatic experiences, De Haan started drawing and painting.

Together with the artist Jaap Wagemaker, Wim de Haan was one of the most important Dutch Matter artists. Well-known international influencers and practitioners of Matter art were Burri, Dubuffet and Tápies. The material was more important to these artists than the subject. The structure of a work is created by mixing materials such as dust, sand, earth and sawdust with paint. This created relief on the canvas.

A transition took place in the 1960s, with De Haan fully switching from Matter paintings to assemblies. Where matter-painting already has relief and a coarse structure, he incorporates all kinds of spatial objects in his assemblies. As a result, De Haan is switching from two-dimensional to three-dimensional work.