1 October 2018

Exhibition Jan Sluijters on the First World War from 27 September to 28 October 2018

Jan Sluijters - War is its birthday

Bloody bodies, all-destructive armies, war profiters and unscrupulous politicians: Jan Sluijters imagined them all without hesitation The New Amsterdammer. The prints that appeared as an appendix to this magazine in the years 1915-1919 bear titles such as: It is the birthday of warPosthuma's rotten potato and onion policy en To the bitter end. If you look at Sluijters' paintings from this period (flower still lifes, women's portraits, landscapes), you will be surprised at the fact that one and the same artist was working here. The gloomy prints of war show a completely different side of the artist: Sluijters as a socially critical artist, but also Sluijters as a graphic artist. The war prints form a special and closed whole within his oeuvre. This year it is exactly one hundred years ago that the First World War ended. Despite the fact that almost all of Europe became involved in one of the most terrible wars in history four years earlier, the Netherlands remained neutral. We had nothing to do with it. But how neutral was the Netherlands really? Artist Rob Scholte discovered a different history of the Netherlands during the First World War in prints made by Jan Sluijters. Captivated by Sluijters' strong images, he collected all of his prints. These 77 drawings are now - after an earlier exhibition in museum de Fundatie in Zwolle - in museum Slager to see.  In 1914 a weekly newspaper was created 'the New Amsterdammer' as a split off from the Groene Amsterdammer, founded by the former editor-in-chief Henri Wiessing. The opinion poll weekly printed a large cartoon on the cover of the supplement. Jan Sluijters was asked in 1915 to make this print regularly for the magazine. The records are engaged, vicious and daring and are in no way resembling the colorful mundane paintings with which Sluijters became famous. Performed in black and white with only one supporting color, a visual language is created that is pacifistic and involved in tone. We see a Sluijters with a clear political voice, critical of the Dutch government, which he portrays as tame profiteers.

Death: - lords ad fundum ... to the bitter end!

Jan Sluiters - After four years of war