Jaap Wagemaker is one of the best-known Dutch ‘material painter’. He found his way flirting with expressionism, the influences of Kandinsky, Klee and CoBrA.
In Paris in the nineteen-fifties Wagemaker encountered the work of Jean Dubuffet and Alberto Burri, as a response to which he began to incorporate materials such as sand, jute and wood into his paintings. Another source of inspiration was African and Oceanic art from which he took not only the ‘primitive’ forms and restrained colours, but also the sense of the magic that can be hidden in objects. In contrast to many other Dutch artists, such as Armando and Kees van Bohemen, who worked in an informal style during the nineteen-fifties, Jaap Wagemaker remained faithful to the eloquence of the materials even in his later relief paintings and assemblages.