VISIONARY REVUE

THE HAGUE YEARS
1945 - 1962


      After seven years of study at the academy in the Hague, Johfra acquired a studio on Willemstraat. Shortly thereafter, in 1946, he met Diana Vandenberg, whom he was to live and paint with for the next sixteen years. Together, the two of them broadened their knowledge of classical art through summer travels in the Mediterranean. And, at the Lectorium Rosicrucianum in Harlem, they pursued indepth studies on Hermetc subjects over the course of a decade.
      But the paintings that emerged during this period were neither esoteric nor classical. It was only at the end of his relationship with Diana that a few Hermetic paintings appeared. As well, though numerous studies of antiquity were made in his sketchbooks, particularly during his travels with her, these classical figures only surfaced intermittantly in painting.
      Instead, the predominant figure in his works of this period became ‘the drummel’. This word describes the bizarre, combinatory figures which abound in one dream landscape after another.


THE DISPUTE
'DRUMMELS'
(THE DISPUTE -1972)


 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

DRUMMELS
SKETCHBOOK PAGE: DRUMMELS

      The painting The Dispute (opposite) offers one example of more human-oriented drummels, while the sketchbook drawing above offers human and animal drummels combined.
      These so-called sketchbooks are, in fact, standard hard-bound books minus the text. With a clear pencil line, never erasing, Johfra filled page after page and volume after volume of these books with drummels - the thousand and one variations that are possible when combining human or animal forms.
       Some pages are pre-occupied with human anatomy exclusively - how an ear may be glued to a hand, a hand to an eye, and and an eye back to the ear. Others are more interested in human and animal forms: how wings may sprout from ears, or serpents from a nose. The variations are endless. All emerge spontaneously and alive in figure after figure of amazing human invention.


 
 
 


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