Willem Hofker, Painter of Bali


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Bruce Carpenter

Drs P. Hammann

Drs R. Hössen

Willem Gerard Hofker(1902-1981).  The present publication is intended to render the oeuvre of the Dutch artist Willem Gerard Hofker more generally known than it is today. The period 1938-1946, when Hofker and his wife Maria Hofker-Reuter lived in the former Netherlands East Indies, will be the special focus of attention. Undisputable highlights of this period are the hundreds of paintings, drawings and watercolours which Hofker produced in Bali until late 1943. i.e. partly during the final prewar ‘Golden Years’ and parly during the Japanes occupation. As this Balinese period has been the major determinating factor of Hofker’s development as a man and an artist, the authors and  publishers consider a multifaceted discussion of these years justified. This resulted in an approach which is slightly different from that of the usual artist’s monograph.

In the first, predominant section the accent is on the crucial influences in Willem Hofker’s personal and artistic career, and particularly on the Balinese sojourn which was an almost magical experience for both him and his wife. Attention will be directed to several aspects of their existence on the Island of the Gods, from the overwhelming first impressions and interesting contacts with great Western artists and scientists currently working there, to the fascinating incidents and insights yielded by their sometimes intense contacts with the Balinese and, subsequently, the Japanese. Part of this section is a first-hand narrative: while in Bali, Maria Hofker wrote a number of short stories on her life on the island which were published in some periodicals in the Indies shortly before the war. Three of these, and also a story which originated after her return to Holland in 1946, have been included here.

But Mrs. Hofker-Rueter also played a central part in the realization of this publication in another way. One of the last surviving witnesses of the Balinese ‘Golden Years", she was willing to supply a treasure of essential historical, biographical and art-historical information in the course of countless visits. The authors have noted down and worked up these conversations with the utmost care. In addition, Mrs. Hofker-Rueter made available the lion’s share of the visual material which is offered here, provided the authors with the opportunity to investigate her personal archives and collection, and checked the accuracy of the final text. We are therefore in her debt more than in anyone else’s: without her immensely positive and stimulating assistance this publication would not have been possible.


Text English/Dutch

220 pages

217 images

179 in full colour and 38 in black/white

Dimension 300mm x 300mm

Price Euro 1000,00 

Weight 2940 g
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