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    Sale 2773

    Twentieth Century Art

    4 December 2007, Amsterdam

  • Lot 104

    Pieter Ouborg (DUTCH, 1893-1956)

    Composition

    Price Realised  

    Pieter Ouborg (DUTCH, 1893-1956)
    Composition
    signed 'P. Ouborg' (lower right)
    gouache and sand on paper
    27 x 40 cm.
    Executed circa 1949.


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    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Provenance

    Johannes and Cricri Tielrooy, thence by descent to the present owner.
    On loan to the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, from 1985 until 2007.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF THE LATE JOHANNES AND CRICRI TIELROOY (Lots 104-111)
    The present 8 lots have been on loan to the Dordrechts Museum in Dordrecht from 1982 until 2007. The works were collected by the couple Johannes Tielrooy and his wife Cricri. The Tielrooy couple and Piet Ouborg had a long life friendship and they supported Ouborg during his life in many ways.

    They met in Dutch East-Indies in 1929 where Ouborg lived since 1916. Tielrooy taught French at a high school in Batavia and Cricri wrote in her diary in August 1929: "Made acquaintance with the painter Ouborg (...) Outstanding work, very thought out, searching".

    Tielrooy and his wife would carefully follow Ouborg's artistic and personal development and bought many works from him at an early stage. They had a mutual interest in art. It was through Tielrooy, who passed on articles, books and magazines, that Ouborg became extensively informed about most the recent developments in art in Europe. Particularly those in France. Ouborg had an extensive correspondence with both Johannes and Cricri and later also with their daughter Jettie. These letters have been a source of information on the artist. Many quotes of the artist in recent publications come from these letters in which Ouborg discerned personal and artistic problems. (Now in the collection of RKD, The Hague)

    Although Ouborg had not very much recognition during his life he is regarded as one of Holland's most important surrealist painters from before World War II and as earlier initiator of Abstract Expressionism in Holland. He played an outstanding role in the development of Dutch post-war.

    Of great importance for his development as an artist have been his years in the Dutch East-Indies, where he worked as a art teacher, a profession he practiced nearly all his life. Ouborg became increasingly spellbound by the native culture of the East-Indies. He was attracted to the mystical demonic quality of their art. Of mutual importance for his development was his subscription to Cahiers d'Art. Through this magazine, in which the newest development on art in Europe, such as Surrealism and Abstraction were illustrated, he kept his eye on the world.

    During his first long home leave in 1931 he visited the exhibition L'Art Vivant in Brussels. Here he saw, for the first time in real, works from Miro, Ernst, Masson and Arp. Ouborg was deeply impressed after seeing this exhibition and wrote to Tielrooy that he "saw loads of work ahead of him".

    In 1931/1932 Ouborg had his first official exhibition in the Netherlands with his most recent works at Kunsthandel De Bois in Haarlem. It seems very likely that Tielrooy introduced Ouborg to De Bois with whom he was acquainted.

    As Ouborg explained these small paintings depicted "visionary dream images". Floating forms drifting in infinite often horizontal spaces. These painting, that are clearly inspired by Miro, have very poetical titles like Farewell, Vision in Silence, Rise and Fall (lot 106, 107).
    During his last years in Indonesia Ouborg's work became less abstract. Images of desolate landscapes in undefinable spaces with forms half figurative, half realistic (lots 108, 109, 110). In 1938 he returned to Holland.

    In the last years of the war he was trying to break away from the confining, realistic, rendering of temple ruins in a collapsing world. 1947 seems to be an important year in his career. A new élan and vitality was introduced. He created strong, vibrant coloured abstract expressionist paintings.

    Ouborg became famous in 1950 after winning the Jacob Maris prize for his drawing 'Father and Son' (now in collection of the Haags Gemeentemuseum). Immediately a public struggle in the press started for the right for abstract art. Although his integrity as an artist was brought into question, his work nonetheless did find more and more appreciation during the last years of his life. Leading museum directors as Willem Sandberg and Jos de Gruyter became great supporters of his art and the idea that Ouborg was one of Holland's most important experimental artists after the war became generally accepted. (See for more information on the artist: Leonie ten Duis, Piet Ouborg Schilder, Eindhoven 1990.)


    Literature

    L. ten Duis a.o., Piet Ouborg, schilder, Eindhoven 1990, p. 107.


    Exhibited

    Eindhoven, Stedelijk van Abbe-museum, Piet Ouborg, 15 May-20 June 1965, no. 71.
    Breda, De Beyerd, Piet Ouborg, 26 June-25 July 1965, no. 71.