Kees (Cornelis Bernardus) van Bohemen (The Hague 1928- The Hague 1985) is a Dutch painter. He is considered one of the most complete painters in the Netherlands. His fame extends beyond the Dutch borders.
Kees van Bohemen studies in the 1940s at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. At the age of twenty-four he receives a scholarship to study in Paris for nine months. At intervals he stays in Paris for five years and there he makes friends with some painters from the Cobra group. Until 1957 he shares a studio with Corneille.
At the end of the 1950s, Kees joines the Dutch Informal Group. Other members of this group are Armando, Jan Schoonhoven and Jan Hendrikse. Afterwards he is indirectly involved in the Dutch Zero movement. He also becomes a member of the Posthoorngroup, Pulchri Studio and the ‘Haagse Kunstkring’.
In 1963 Kees receives the Talens Prize, in 1964 the important Jacob Maris Prize, in 1966 the Wedgwood Prize and in 1969 in Ostend the Europe Prize.
Kees quickly goes his own way. His early work is characterized by the absence of figurative elements. These paintings are made up of contrasting white and black parties. In the sixties he gives a sensation with his ‘sports paintings’ with topics such as boxing, horse races, cycling and motor sport. These paintings often have a large size and are characterized by a virtuoso paint treatment. His travels to Africa and America (1966-1967) and Africa (1972) lead to exotic paintings.
Color and shape are important for Kees. The choice of the subject is less important to him. ‘I do not want to work anecdotally, do not tell stories in paint’, Kees says once.
In 1985 Kees dies in a hospital in The Hague at the age of 56. Works by his hand belong to the collections of the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Gemeentemuseum The Hague and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Kees van Bohemen is the brother of the Dutch painting restorer Nico van Bohemen and father of actor Casper van Bohemen. He married to painter and draftswoman Elisabeth Berdina (Els) van der Zijde (born 1936).
Sources: wikipedia and nieuwhaagseschoolkunst.nl