Category Archives: NIEUWENHUIJS, JAN

Jan Nieuwenhuijs

Jan Nieuwenhuijs (1922 Amsterdam, Netherlands – 1986 Amsterdam, Netherlands) was an artist and co-founder of the CoBrA group.

Already as a kids, he and his older brother Constant decided to become painters.
From 1938 to 1941 he attended the Rijksnormaalschool in Amsterdam. Later in the Second World War he also took lessons at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam where he met Karel Appel and Corneille.

During World War II Nieuwenhuys painted almost only clowns, nudes and couples making love. Just after the war he started painting fantasy animals like aggressive cocks, cats and bulls.

In 1948 he was a co-founder of the Experimentele Groep in Holland that a few months later became the European group CoBrA which he alreafd left again already in the middle of 1949.

Jan was in his paintings of this period influenced by dreams, children’s drawings, the artistic expressions of mentally handicapped people and primitive art. Animals such as birds and cats play a leading role in most of his works, along with fantastic creatures and beings that are made up of a combination of human, animal and mechanical elements.