ALBERT NIEMEYER // CURSO VITAL // MIXED MEDIA ON PANEL // 2001
Impressive large artwork by Dutch artist Albert Niemeyer (1951), titled: ‘Curso Vital’. Dated and signed with monogram bottom right: EI.2001. Mixed media on panel, H150 x W242 cm.
In excellent condition
Antique frame (ca 1900) has been gilt and measureses H177 x W269 x D15 cm.
Albert Niemeyer (Breda, 1951) was still a young boy when he became fascinated by the work of artists such as Van Gogh, Dalí, Appel and particularly Picasso and Chagall. “The freedom that they allowed themselves in their work to depict life in all its facets in such an extraordinary way changed my life for good,” he says. Niemeyer drew pictures from an early age. After moving to Eindhoven later, he spent a number of years working for zoos. However, he not only looked after the animals but observed and painted them too, in all sincerity. Initially, he drew them with photographic precision but, slowly but surely, he began to work in a freer way, in a style that evokes associations with the work of some of the Cobra painters.
From the end of 1974 up to 1980, Niemeyer worked as a commercial artist and designer specialising in illuminated advertisements. In 1978, he and his wife moved from Waalre to the village of Ommel in Brabant, where Niemeyer began to live and work in a former church. It was in this period that he began to increasingly devote himself to his art, supplementing this by giving drawing lessons to children and adults.
The breakthrough came with an invitation to exhibit at the Willy Schoots gallery in Eindhoven and the Reflex Modern Art Gallery in Amsterdam. These exhibitions marked the start of Niemeyer’s career as an artist. His work was now much in demand in the Netherlands, Europe and the United States.
This was also the start of a period in which various thematic features began to recur in his work. Up to the end of the nineteen-eighties he painted with acrylic paint on very large sheets of paper that were framed in Perspex frames that he designed himself. At the beginning of the nineteen-nineties, he began to paint primarily on canvas. He not only applies the paint with brushes but also with his hands or directly from the tube.
“My work evokes new things and I want to continue to develop instead of sticking to a particular form or a particular manner.” In his search for a renewed freedom, he started to embed his view of the world in images and objects. A film and a book on a project produced by Alzheimer Nederland entitled ‘Was getekend dementie..’. and launched a period in which Niemeyer developed applied art in Dutch healthcare institutions in the form of murals and ceiling paintings, pictures and sculptures.
Strengthened by his experiences in healthcare, he started to examine ‘being human’ in more depth and this gave birth to a new artistic period. Niemeyer’s style became more recognisable and more his own than ever before. It was intrusive, expressive. A mingling of many lines, shapes and forms. There were figures, people and animals, sometimes accompanied by objects. “I think the time in which we live is hard and crude. I want people to feel affection in my work and, above all, to show it.” The materials in which he works have also been adjusted to this. “I work with acrylic paint on panels and use mixed techniques and different materials – so-called mixed media.” Since the mid-nineteen-nineties, the antique frames that he buys in Paris to frame his work have also become an essential component of this.
Over the years, Niemeyer’s creations have found their way into private, institutional and corporate collections. His commissioned family portraits are a noteworthy aspect of this. They are not clichéd family portraits in the classic sense; instead, personal characteristics are incorporated in an abstract way. “I also cherish my artistic freedom in commissioned work.” This typifies Niemeyer as an artist: idiosyncratic, sincere, inquiring and always developing.