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Exhibition of the work of Gust van de Wall Perné by RKD staff member

This winter will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the artist Gust van de Wall Perné (1877-1911), who died aged 34. In the short period of ten years, Van de Wall Perné built an extensive and varied oeuvre. From 5 November 2011 to 26 February 2012 the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn will be showing the exhibition Gust van de Wall Perné – New Art around 1900. The exhibition has been organised by RKD staff member Annemiek Rens, whose MA dissertation on the artist won the 2010 Prize for the best Master’s Thesis, awarded by the Society for Friends of New Art 1900 (VVNK).

Kolenbrander en de reus.jpg
Illustration for the fairy tale of The Coal Burner and the Giant, 1908. Collection Drents Museum, Assen

Gust van de Wall Perné was born in Apeldoorn and fell in love with the Veluwe district at an early age. His artistic career in Amsterdam was punctuated by annual summer breaks at his purpose-built studio cottage in Hoog Soeren. Here he painted the surrounding woods and heath as well as collecting old folk tales. Van de Wall Perné was an ambitious and multi-talented artist: besides teaching, painting and illustrating, he wrote on art; he also designed furniture, theatrical sets, posters, clothes and bookbindings. In addition to this, he played an active part in various artists’ organisations including the ‘Sint Lucas’ society, which he served as governor. In conversation with Piet Mondrian and other friendly artists, Van de Wall Perné developed ideas on art that were distinctly modern for their time. His own work was also constantly evolving. The artist’s sudden death brought an abrupt end to these developments and his work sank into oblivion soon after. Art-historical research into the figure of Van de Wall Perné sheds new light on his work and his role in the art world of his day.

Ex libris Gust van de Wall Perné, undated. Collection CODA

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication by Annemiek Rens. The book includes a previously unpublished forest fairy tale by Van de Wall Perné, with beautiful colour illustrations. The manuscript and drawings were made available by the Drents Museum in Assen. You can buy a copy of the book at the entrancedesk of the RKD (€12.95) and through the website of the CODA museum.

More information
Annemiek Rens MA
project assistant De Stijl Archives and Documentation


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