nicolas mathieu eekman peintre graveur artiste cubisme fantasmagorie hollandais huiles gravures fantastiques expressionnisme eekman humanisme fantastique le sillon

Nicolas Eekman was born in Brussels in the house where Victor Hugo, then in exile, wrote Les Mis©rables.

At 18, Eekman gave his first lecture in Brussels titled “The unknown Van Gogh” who in 1907 was an unacknowledged artist by the general public. In 1912, he went to see the first Van Gogh exhibition in Cologne, Germany. It would be a decisive experience.

After graduating from the Fine Arts Academy in Brussels in architecture, he took refuge during the First World War in the presbytery of Nuenen in the Netherlands where Bart de Ligt was a pastor. Thirty years earlier, the Van Gogh family lived in the same presbytery, where Vincent created The Potato Eaters. Up until the end the war, Eekman exhibited his work frequently in the Netherlands and great Dutch museums and collectors purchased some of his artwork, primarily Helene Kr¶ller-M¼ller.

A few months after a great retrospective at the Reflets Gallery in Brussels, Nicolas Eekman died on 13 November 1973 in Paris. He was buried at the Ivry Cemetery, in the southeast of Paris.
[edit] Career as an artist

In 1921, Eekman settled in Paris, and from that point on, he would never stop showing his art in France and abroad. He would often meet the Dutch artists that lived in Paris such as Fred Klein, Piet Mondrian, C©sar Domela, Georges Vantongerloo and Frans Masereel. He became friends with gallerist Jeanne Bucher who in 1928 would exhibit his work along with Mondrian’s. This would be the only time that Mondrian’s paintings would be exhibited in a gallery in Paris. Even though Eekman was violently anti-abstract art and Mondrian was one of its pioneers, they would always remain very close friends.

During the 1930s, Eekman participated in many group exhibitions throughout the world, principally in the United States, and his solo shows took place all over Europe.

In the interwar period, Eekman was part of the artistic movement that revolved around Montparnasse, in the left bank of Paris. There he became friends with Jean Lur§at, Louis Marcoussis, Andr© Lhote, Max Jacob, Moise Kisling, Marc Chagall, Picasso, Dal­, Armand Nakache, Paul Signac, Jacques Lipchitz, Fernand L©ger, Edouard Goerg, Geiger, Max Ernstâ,¦

In 1937, at the International Exhibition in Paris, a gold medal was awarded to Eekman for his painting La pelote bleue (The blue ball), which was purchased by the State for the Jeu de Paume Museum.

In the beginning of World War II, he was sought by the Nazis and settled momentarily in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the South West of France, where he signed his work under the pseudonym Ekma.

In 1944, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels organized a significant exhibition which the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium attended.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Eekman’s art was exhibited on a regular basis in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

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