Friday, November 6, 2009

The Dutch Series # 2 - Paul Citroen

Roelof Paul Citroen (1896 - 1983) was a German-born Dutch artist, art educator and co-founder of the New Art Academy in Amsterdam.
Citroen was born and grew up in a Jewish (Dutch) family in Berlin and began drawing at an early age, much supported by his parents.
In 1919 Citroen began studying at the Bauhaus, taking lessons from Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Johannes Itten (who became one of his biggest influences). It was around this time that he started 'Metropolis', which became his best known piece.
During the years 1929-1935, Citroen made many photographs, clearly influenced by his work with Erwin Blumenfield, with whom he experimented earlier in his life.
He set up the New Art School in Amsterdam, which existed from 1933 through 1937, in which year he became a scholar at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague.
The war years Citroen had to spend in hiding.
After designing the famous "Zomerpostzegels", a collection of stamps in blue, yellow and green, his focus shifted to painting portraits, many famous Dutch people among them like this self portrait wit the writer Hella Haasse.

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