Dutch painter and window dresser, born in Ammerzoden (NL) on 09-02-1928, Wordragen comes from Ammerzoden, a remote village in the land of Maas and Waal. Martin was the third descendant of a peasant family with ten children. As a child he drew on everything he could find.
He followed the training course teacher drawing in 's-Hertogenbosch. Successively obtained the diploma for drawing teacher and "etaleur-decorateur" (window dresser). Afterwards he followed a training "reclame-assistent" (advertising assistant).
In 1947 he made his first painting, "Melkmeisje".
When the Netherlands celebrated the inauguration of Queen Juliana in 1948, Martin was given an honourable assignment: to paint a metre-high portrait of the new Queen. With this he made a great impression in his native region.
Martin van Wordragen had a traditional classical education, so he was forced to paint realistic scenes for many years. The young Martin was not happy with that. In the meantime he had met the Cobra movement and it touched him deeply. This was the style he wanted; this was painting from the heart.
Martin left the Netherlands in the early 1950s; in early 1954 he came to Hasselt via a colleague and practised the profession of window dresser. He also trained many window dressers in the years 1970-1978.
To broaden his knowledge he frequently visited museums and exhibitions. At that time he also became acquainted with (the work of?) Constant Permeke, which gave him a fascination for Flemish Expressionism. This painter and the Cobra movement caused a break with traditional painting. Martin van Wordragen grew to become the painter we know today.
Until his marriage in 1958 he painted little, but this changed in the 60s and 70s. He became an expressionist with a particular emphasis on the expression and feelings he wanted to express. The figure and the subject were subordinate. He evolves from the Flemish "Permeke" expressionism to a "personal" expressionism with certain facets specific to the Cobra art.
Martin married, in June 1958, Helena Goesten (a honeymoon to the Expo '58 in Brussels was obvious). Martin and Helena van Wordragen-Goesten had 4 sons: Erik, Han, Arjan and Wilfried. Arjan passed away in 2013 at the age of 48. His wife has also died after a long illness.
In the 70s and 80s Martin was often away from home. At that time he regularly rented a far away, primitive, old farmhouse. There he often withdrew to be able to process his feelings on canvas.
Exhibitions followed from 1962. Among others we mention in 1964 an open-air exhibition in Stevoort with Robert Vandereycken and Amand Van Rompaey. Works were mainly shown at exhibitions in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
He was also co-founder in 1963 of the artists movement "Sakoura" (Japanese blossom) with the aim of bringing artists together and organising group exhibitions. The circle regularly organised exhibitions with works by Konings Gabi, among others. This was the case in 1974 on the occasion of "10 jaar Sakoura" in Hasselt, Tongeren and Neerpelt.
In 1990, on the occasion of his 40-year career as a painter, a book entitled "Martin van Wordragen - 40 jaar op pad" was published and an exhibition was also held at Galerie Albert in Hasselt.
Martin van Wordragen's actual breakthrough was in 1996, when gallery owner Cees Clijsen from Nuenen discovered the work of the artist. He was so touched by the quality and special depiction of the paintings that he bought a large part of the collection. This marked the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration, culminating in the publication of the book and a major exhibition in Amstelveen in 2005.
On the occasion of his 70th birthday, a second book was published in 1998: "Martin van Wordragen - 70 jaar onderweg".
- Martin van Wordragen
- Title of artwork
- Oil on canvas
- Hand signed
- As new
- Image size
- 70×60 cm
- Total dimensions
- 80×70×3.5 cm
- Sold with frame