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Lot 0074
Gouache on paper, abstract expressionist composition. Signed and attr. Wobbe Alkema (Dutch, 1900-1984) near bottom edge. 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm), creases along upper section and a few creases in the center, verso of the frame is sealed. Alkema's work of the 1920s is relatively rare and consists of drawings, lino art and paintings. In these works there is no reference to natural forms. They are built up with overlapping circles, squares, triangles and lines. The geometric forms completely dominate the canvas and the colours are mainly dark. In his choice of geometric forms Alkema was very strict; his colouring was more free and intuitive. To Alkema, Mondriaan's restrictions in form and colour were much too limiting. For Alkema the circle was his main focus and starting point in his compositions while for Piet Mondriaan made his works based on a horizontal and vertical perspective. Alkema was actually one of the very first painters to develop from figurative works to completely abstract work with no links to reality. During a short period in the early 1920's Wobbe Alkema was a member of De Ploeg, a society of artists from Groningen. This group aimed at changing the narrow-minded and conservative art climate in the city. In style and ideas the artists were widely divergent. Today the group is mainly remembered for the expressionists Jan Wiegers, Jan Altink and Johan Dijkstra. Some of the De Ploeg artists had no affinity with this German oriented Expressionism and developed a style based on abstraction. This so called Gronings Konstruktivisme comprised artists such as Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman, Jan van der Zee and Wobbe Alkema. Even more important for his artistic development was his contact with the Belgian constructivist group around the magazine "Het Overzicht", with artists like Jozef Peeters and Felix de Boeck. In 1924 and 1925 Alkema travelled to Belgium to visit Peeters. His latest work was published in several issues of "Het Overzicht". The similarities between his work and that of the Belgian artists are evident but, according to Alkema, Belgium Constructivism was also too much based on theoretical principals. Alkema's Constructivism was based on intuition and personal emotions and had no theoretical foundation. As Ad Petersen mentioned: to Alkema "every painting is a personal expression, a means to find inner harmony and a pureness that did not exist in the outside world". PROVENANCE: Southern Ontario estate


All authorship of items in this catalog are described according to the following terms:

By [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work is by the artist.

Attributed to [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work may be ascribed to the artist on the basis of style, but there may be some question as to actual authorship.

In the manner of [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work was executed by an unknown hand, but was designed deliberately to emulate the style of the artist.

After [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work was executed by an unknown hand, but is a deliberate copy of a known work by the artist.

Circle of [Artist Name] : In our opinion, a work of the period of the artist showing his influence, closely associated with the artist but not necessarily his pupil.

Follower of [Artist Name]: In our opinion, a work by a pupil or a follower of the artist (not necessarily a pupil).

American, 19th century : In our opinion, this work was executed by an unknown hand, and can only be identified by origin (i.e., region, period).

Bears signature : In our opinion, the signature on the artwork may be spurious.
Apocryphal : Of doubtful authenticity.

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WOBBE ALKEMA Dutch 1900-1984 Gouache on Paper

Estimate $1,500 - $3,500May 10, 2018
15 - 280 West Beaver Creek Road
Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 3Z1
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