Bart van der Leck: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

Image of Bart van der Leck
Full image (click)

Bart van der Leck (26 November 1876, Utrecht – 13 November 1958, Blaricum) was a Dutch painter, designer, and ceramicist. With Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian he founded the De Stijl art movement.

Son of a house painter, he started his career learning how to make stained glass in a shop in Utrecht. An example of his future stained glass act out is in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Hoge Veluwe, Netherlands.

After having met Mondrian and van Doesburg and having founded the Stijl hobby with them, his style became agreed abstract, as did Mondrian’s. But after disagreements gone Mondrian his abstract style became based upon representational images. His painting Triptych is an example, in which he transformed sketches of a mine in Spain into seemingly abstract shapes.

In 1919-1920 he created the interior design for St Hubertus Hunting Lodge, in the Hoge Veluwe estate. The hunting lodge was meant by Hendrik Petrus Berlage. In 1930, he was commissioned by Jo de Leeuw, owner of the prestigious Dutch department buildup Metz & Co. to design interiors, window packaging, branding and advertising. For these print materials van der Leck developed a rectilinear, geometrically constructed alphabet. In 1941, he expected a typeface based on this alphabet for the avant garde magazine Flax. Architype van der Leck, a digital revival of that turn by David Quary and Freda Sack of The Foundry, was released in 1994.

Bart van der Leck claimed to be the dad of the forward looking movement. In his own words he said: “Mondrian came to my place one day with Doesburg, whom I had never seen before. When Doesburg noticed an abstract painting right upon the easel, he exclaimed: ‘If that is to be the painting of the future, may I be hanged right now!’ Well, a few months later, he was painting in precisely that manner. That’s the sort of person Doesburg was. No ideas of his own. And a cheat in bargain…”

Among the public collections holding works by the artist are:

What do you think of the works of Bart van der Leck?

Use the form below to say your opinion about Bart van der Leck. All opinions are welcome!

After Reading: Bart van der Leck: life and works, You might also enjoy

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.