Lot 55
Indonesian Art Sale | 18 November 2020
Willem Gerard Hofker (1902-1981)

A farmer near a barn in Besthmen

dated, annotated and signed '9 Juni 1934. Besthmen. W.G. Hofker' (lower right)

pencil and coloured crayon on paper, 20,5x31 cm

Literature: -Bruce Carpenter and Maria Hofker-Rueter, 'Willem Hofker, painter of Bali', Picture Publishers, 1993, mentioned on p. 201 as 394, 'Country road, Besthmen, near Batrink, Juni 1934', drawing 20 x 30 cm. And on p. 202 as 427 Country road in Overijssel, etching 20 x 30cm January 1936. -S. Hofker and G. Orsini, Willem Gerard Hofker (1902-1981), Uitgeverij de Kunst, Zwolle, 2013, the same scene but in oil paint on canvas, illustrated on p. 78 as no. 80.

-Private collection, the Netherlands, since 1934.

Willem G. Hofker (1902-1981), educated on the Royal Academy of Arts in Amsterdam, is well known for his exotic scenes made on the island of Bali in Indonesia. As a young newly married man, however, Hofker started his career as an independent artist in Amsterdam, where he and his wife Maria lived on the income of mainly commissioned portraits between the walls of his studio. This work was interspersed with time spent in a countryside, developing his skills and techniques. Weeks of spring holidays were spent in a small and simple farm, away from the noisy city of Amsterdam, in a hamlet called Besthmen of the municipality Ommen, in the beautiful Dutch province of Overijssel. Hofker describes in his journal this typically Dutch place as a bliss. He called this dirt road “Landweg” as he titled this presented lot on the verso.

June 1934. 'Besthem. Mild, warm weather all day with occasional rain or a thunder. You only hear the cows and a goat and a raindrop from the oak leaves falling on the wet grass. This morning I thought the most pleasant sound was coming from here, a farm wagon being pulled along the dirt road.'
Willem Hofker felt very happy in this idyllic rural location: “ Anywhere you look can be turned into a work of art”. It was there where his “free work” was developed without the pressure of “having to perform,” as shown in this drawing. We see a farmer sharpening his hand scythe next to the dirt road, nowadays called Batterinkweg, before mowing the grass, against a background of tall oak trees.

In the early 1930s, Hofker created a wide variety of nature scenes in Ommen in conté crayon. And re-produced these individual works (with minor differences in detail) by using other materials such as watercolor, oil paint, Indian ink and even in etching techniques. This was the way he practiced his technique and developed his skills, resulting in a special collection. A large portion of that extraordinary collection is still on display today in the permanent collection of the Regional Museum of Ommen.
Seline Hofker, September 2020

Voor deze kunstenaar is volgrecht van toepassing.

€ 1.000,00
€ 1.500,00
€ 900,00

Hamerprijs: € 900