About the artist (1898-1977)
Van Velde’s mature work consists of arrangements in which the artist experimented with the relationships between shapes. His paintings endeavour to clarify the process of abstraction by maintaining certain figurative traces. Colours are kept to a minimum to keep the focus on form, but splashes of bright colour give paintings a certain amount of depth. The organic geometric structures have some Cubist tendencies. However, van Velde had a gentler, but no less rigorous, approach than the Cubists. His work has some affinity to his older brother Bram van Velde’s style of painting, though his work is more subdued in colour and intricate in finish.
Museu Raset holds two still lifes by the artist, painted in very different ways. The earlier of the two, is an intimate fragment of the artist’s studio, a classical composition which is executed with thick, fluent brushwork in dark tonalities. The latter visualises the transformation from figuration to abstraction. Viewing the paintings together allows us insight into the incredible artistic journey the artist experienced throughout his career.
The artist won the Premier Prix de la ville de Menton, France in 1951