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Jan Sierhuis



Jan Sierhuis is born in December 21, 1928 in the Jordaan, a working-class neighbourhood in Amsterdam. His father, who manages a bicycle shed, dies when he is two. It is the Depression and the family lives in great poverty.
Sierhuis has been drawing from an early age. His mother supplies him with discarded paper from the offices where she cleans, but she sees nothing in a career as a painter and sends him to craft school.
Sierhuis leaves home at the age of fourteen. A few years later, in 1945, he is admitted to the evening course at the Rijksacademie, but leaves after a conflict. In 1947 and 1948 he is involved with the Experimental Group in Holland and in 1948 with Cobra, but is still too young to join. Later, in 1962, he co-founds the Groep Scorpio, an artists’ group that opposes the prevailing exhibition policy. From 1968 Sierhuis teaches at various art schools, such as the Amsterdam Rietveld Academie and the Rijksacademie.
Initially, Sierhuis paints in a naturalistic style, but in the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s mainly works abstractly. In the mid-1960s figuration starts to play a larger role again. His frequent stays in Spain and his passion for flamenco leave clear traces in his later work.
In 1956 Sierhuis is awarded the Koninklijke Subsidie voor de Schilderkunst (Royal Grant for Painting), in 1957 the Thérèse van Duyl-Schwartzprijs and in 1987 the Jeanne Oosting Prijs.
He dies on July 4, 2023 in his hometown of Amsterdam.

Portrait Jan Sierhuis


Oil on cardboard, mounted on canvas
74 x 100 cm