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Aat Veldhoen

born 1934 in Amsterdam

The painter, draughtsman and printmaker Arie (“Aat”) Veldhoen was born in Amsterdam in 1934. His talent blossomed early and at the age of just fourteen he began his artistic training at an art school in Amsterdam, which he left after four years without completing the course to become an independent artist. Veldhoen bought his first etching press in 1956. As an etcher he was basically self-taught. His preoccupation with this medium was an almost inevitable result of his activities as a draughtsman, which he pursued with great intensity and astonishing talent. Between 1957 and 1967 Veldhoen produced an extensive oeuvre of some four hundred prints, comprising landscapes, still lifes, portraits, self-portraits and erotic themes. Veldhoen is a traditional artist in the best sense of the word. He felt the urge to follow in the footsteps of his great predecessors, especially Rembrandt, whose almost magical capacity for synthesis and capturing of the essential has always been a defining model for him. Nevertheless, his art never makes an antiquated impression, being astonishingly idiosyncratic, powerful and emotionally charged. So it came as something of a surprise when this highly gifted young artist, who apparently could do anything with ease, gave up printmaking altogether in 1967 after a period of feverish creativity lasting just over a decade.