Constant

The Dutch artist Constant „Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys“ was born 1920 in Amsterdam.

His younger brother Jan Nieuwenhuys was born a year later. As a child he read literature, particularly interested in poetry and played already a few music instruments. Constant studied from 1939 till 1941 at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst (State Academy of Fine Arts). After he moved to Bergen and saw there for the first time works by Cézanne which inspired him.

1943 the germans occupied Bergen and therefore Constand and his wife moved to Amsterdam. He was hiding to avoid the labour supply for the Germans and during this time he was not able to buy art supplies and had to paint on tablecloths and bed linens.

After the war he moved back to Bergen for a short time and then returned to amsterdam where he, his wife and son lived next to a zoo. After the war and therefore many years of captivity and limitations in his work, he was able to grow as an artist. at this time he was mostly inspired by the Cubism.

In 1946 he traveled for the first time to paris and met there Ascar Jorn and found confirmation in Jorns work who was advanced in the development.

In 1948 he founded together with his brother, Corneille and Karel Appel the art group Experimentele Groep in Holland and he published the magazine Reflex, in which Constant published his ideas in a manifesto in the first issue of the journal.
In which he wrote among other things, that the process of creation of the work is for an experimental artist more important than the work itself and that the work of experimental artists is a reflection of changes in the general perception of beauty.

Around the same time he also publishied with Gerrit Kouwenaar the poetry album „Goede Morgen Haan“. Later this year he was one of the founding members of CoBrA. After the CoBrA period his style has become more abstract.

Constant died 2005 in the Dutch city Utrecht.