Go back

Carel Willink

Self-Portrait (unfinished), 1918

Carel Willink (1900-1983) started this study for a self-portrait at the age of 18, but never finished it. A year later, he wrote: ‘Dear parents, In the end, a decision has to be made, and I’ve made that decision. I will not become an architect, but rather a painter, and I now ask you whether you wil ... l support me in this endeavour for the coming years. I’m certainly not playing it safe…!’ The response from his father pulled no punches: ‘Son, I hope you realise that you’re in for an entire life of going hungry, you’ll become a schlemiel with a hat in his hand’. However, in 1920, he parents did agree to support him after all. Carel was allowed to study art at an academy in Berlin, which was an avant-garde hotbed at the time. At the academy, Willink experimented with the various modern styles: ‘After every two, three or four canvasses, I changed direction’. In his younger years, Kandinsky (1866-1944) and Constructivism inspired Willink to create fully abstract works. He referred to his ultimate style as ‘Imaginary Realism’.
Read more Show less
Carel Willink
Self-Portrait (unfinished)
Oil on panel
49 x 39 cm (h x w)
Type of object
© Pictoright/Sylvia Willink

More artworks by Carel Willink