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Cornelis Kloos

This is translated from the Dutch, in an article in 1996 in regards to a retrospective exhibition at the Museum De Wieger in Deurne, The Netherlands.

Cornelis Kloos was born in Rotterdam and grew up in a well-off environment.

He followed a training as a backup officer and, together with the poet Nijhoff and the botanist Becking, made plans for a trip through Tibet, but because of the outbreak of World War I, the journey did not go on and he went to The Hague Academy of Art, where he later studied Gave as model designer.

In 1940 he was again called under the arms; In the days of his life, he fought as a commander of the Coast Guard.

In 1942, like many artists at the time, he reportedly volunteered at the Dutch Culture Chamber, but he would also have played a role in the resistance according to the catalog.

Kloos was seriously planning to paint about the entire art history on a fiber-optic plate and to show it in a new educational museum. The public would have a good and bad painting on their side on conveyor belts. As an example for a good canvas, a Titian could have served as an example of how not an abstract Mondrian. Kloos had a location at a holiday park on the spot; The building drawings were already ready, but - he was already in the seventy - his museum never came.

For his manuscript Imagination of the visual arts? A rational aesthetic, incorporating ten laws about quality criteria, could not find a publisher. Earlier, in 1962 his studio went into flames. In the royal attic room at his Hague apartment, which should have looked like an oriental palace, much of his oeuvre was lost. His painting Jumping girls from 1934 has disappeared. Goebbels wanted to buy the painting, which was exhibited in Berlin in 1936, but because Kloos refused to shed the black hairs of the pictured women at the request of Goebbels, the sale broke down.

The incident sounds unlikely, but it is mentioned in a booklet just published on the occasion of Kloos's first exhibition in Museum De Wieger in Deurne. In addition to over thirty paintings, about twenty drawings and watercolors and some statues, reconstruction drawings of his sculpture garden in Clingendael can be seen.

After the war, boyish adventure and dreams returned to beautiful girls in watercolors. Summer tones, mountain-to-valley pulling naked or half-dressed girls and tree-to-wading Tarzan girls. Often we see them happily smiling at sailing ships, sometimes tied to poles near departing trucks full of soldiers. Also naked female figures appear crawling among the goats on mountain slopes.

Occasionally Kloos knew about the same airiness as David Hockney, with scenes around tennis courts and swimming pools. The funniest of the exhibition are the dirty feet that he sometimes shows, very subtly, on the tread of his models with some black dirt paint. When Caravaggio did the same, it was shameful. Not so much because of the dirty feet, but because of its models, biblical figures depicted. Due to details like those dirty feet, the dreamy Kloos, who wanted to show the reality of nature, would like to show reality again with both legs on the ground.

The Tarzan Girls of Cornelis Kloos
Exhibition: Cornelis Kloos. June 16th in Museum De Wieger, Oude Liesselseweg 29, Deurne.

From the exhibition and the book, a figurative Dutch figure that has been a very curious oeuvre has come to the fore. Since Kloos in 1959 in The Hague artist association Pulchri, 'Aqualuxen' has been presented - double-sided painted watercolors that were led by ropes and pulleys behind a lightbox - rarely has seen him publicly.

When he terminated membership of Pulchri in protest against modern abstract art, his name became oblivious.

In his preference for young female form Kloos calls associations with the painter Balthus in a single work. His style shows interfaces with the painters of the new business like Max Beckmann. He also meet Art Deco-like elements here and there, and there are similarities with German painters from the thirties.

Especially works as ball passes and standing naked girl with spear do strongly think of the Nazi art of that period. They appear to be imaged from photos from German 'Freikörperkultur' magazines.

In all that Kloos painted, he sought a balanced, harmonious beauty. Incorrect perspectives betraying his figures in fantasy environment. Even the models themselves, despite a constant contour and controlled pictorial displays, are often quite awkwardly depicted. For facial expressions Kloos had little or no interest. The poses in which he put his nuts down can be called stimulating. The girls themselves are the innocence of themselves.