Jaap Egmond was born in New York – his father was a captain at a freight ship – but shortly after, his family moves to Amsterdam. Egmond was a multifaceted artist. Apart from an exceptional talent for drawing, Egmond also proves to be a virtuoso pianist. Since he can’t make up his mind, he chooses both music and art, and decides to enroll in two studies, being at the Royal Academy of Drawing Teachers and the Conservatorium. After WWII, Jaap Egmond teaches drawing, first at the Amsterdam Grammar school, later at the Academy.
He keeps up to date on all current events regarding modern and contemporary art. He was a regular at the Stedelijk Museum. He was also very much intrigued by the Zero-movement. Jaap Egmonnd especially fascinated by their focus on monochromy and the repetition of shapes and forms. In the late sixties, Egmond decided to take the plunge and become a full-time artist. A second life begins.
Jaap Egmond oeuvre is regarded as constructivism. He himself said about this art movement: ‘konstruktivists have the objective to come to a geometrical abstraction through a logical form of shape and proportion’. He arranges more or less similarly-shaped elements, whereby rhythm and shadow determine the final product. Jaap Egmond’s work is at times compared to Jan Schoonhoven’s, but contrary to Schoonhoven’s intuitive approach, Egmond’s work is founded on mathematical law and formules. Preceding each art work, Egmond does extensive investigation, making dozens of sketches filled with calculations and inclination angles. Egmond moves from Amsterdam to Amstelveen, where he sets up shop in an atelier in a former school-building. He executed his symmetrical reliefs noty only in cardboard, but also in steel and plexiglass. He is not in the habit of signing his works, or at times only with an ‘e’.
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