Frans Pannekoek


Biographical data

Frans Lodewijk Pannekoek

Frans Lodewijk Pannekoek is born on 21 February 1937 in Den Dolder to Willemina Jeanne Adèle Tollius Glusenkamp (1908-1993) and Marinus Gerard Pannekoek (1909-1986).

In mid-1942, two years after his parents’ divorce, Pannekoek’s mother marries Johan (Jan) Elius Christoph Schook (1914-1993). The family continues living in Den Dolder until the war forces them to move temporarily to Huis ter Heide. They returned to Den Dolder in 1945, before moving to Hilversum around 1950. Between 1945 and 1951 Frans is a pupil at the Van Dijck School in Hilversum and the Montessori School in Zeist.

Attends the Hilversum Lyceum, where he completes the second class after a difficult secondary school education.

Moves to Boskoop to lodge with a strict Christian family while working in a horticultural nursery and attending a Horticulture School.

Attends the Automotive School in Driebergen, where he studies technical draughtsmanship. He is now living with his grandfather Roeloef Herman Tollius Glusenkamp in Voorthuizen, where he starts painting. Takes his first lessons in etching from Jan Coenraad Nachenius (1890-1987), a friend of his grandfather, who lived in Garderen. Prints his first etching plates at home with a linseed oil press.

Moves to Amsterdam, where he lives at various addresses in the city centre, working at an advertising agency at the age of 18, and decides after a year never to take permanent employment again. In this period he follows the evening course at the Arts and Crafts School in Amsterdam, where he makes just a single etching: Sailing Boats in a Harbour, but has to leave the school prematurely after submitting a series of pornographic drawings. Travels to Morocco with his friend Ed van Kan.

Leaves for Spain with his girlfriend, the later poet Marja van der Veen (see FP 83-4 and FP 83-9), who was briefly his wife, with whom he lived for a while on Ibiza. It was there that he started drawing with Indian ink and got to know the American Abstract Expressionist Alan Schmer (1935-2012), who around 1960 lived and worked in Amsterdam, and later in Brussels and New York. Pannekoek regards him as his real teacher, who helped him above all ‘to learn how to look with a critical gaze, and to look in colour’. He returns to Amsterdam when Marja leaves Ibiza with an American.

Works under the influence of Abstract Expressionists, mainly Rothko, and later comes under the influence of de Staël and Mondrian. Makes the acquaintance of the artist Anton Heyboer (1924-2005), and is impressed by his raw etching method, ‘messing about with acid’ and inscriptions in mirror writing.
Lives for a while in Wijk aan Zee. Goes to sea for a week in a fishing boat, and later makes a series of ‘seascapes’ and almost abstract landscapes, involving experiments with printing and the effects of acid (FP 61-1-7 and FP 62-1-6). Has a studio in an old chicken slaughterhouse in Voorthuizen and makes his prints on a press at the academy in Haarlem.

Lives in Laren in a ground-floor room in a villa called Jagtlust in Blaricum (FP 63-4) which was occupied by the Dutch poetess Frederike Harmsen van Beek (1927-2009), a former neighbour whom he regularly visits in order to repair automobiles. She nicknamed him ‘Bullie of the Knaak’ because he never borrowed more than a knaak (2½ guilders).


Moves to the village of Pingjum in Friesland (FP 63-5). On 5 December the farmhouse where he was living burns down, destroying or damaging most of his paintings, drawings and etchings. He then lives for a while with his sister Tita in Voorthuizen. In the winter of early 1963 he and his girlfriend Helmi Slaaf travel to Sweden, and he later makes a series of etchings heavily influenced by Heyboer in the diagonal lines cutting through the images (see FP 63-1/2 and 6).

After the fire his stepfather buys him a cottage near Pingjum, where he and his girlfriend go to live. He spends two winters on the island of Vlieland (‘in the Berry Shed’).
He begins working from nature and gradually turns his back on abstract art. Makes many small etchings of dune landscapes and views of Vlieland (FP 64-1-3, 6-9, 12-17), in addition to several panoramic landscapes in the Gooi region in the centre of the country (FP 64-4/5, 10/11).
Becomes friendly with the writer Gerard [van het] Reve (1923-2006), whom he had known from his time in the Jagtlust villa. The spend many evenings in the latter’s home in nearby Greonterp. Their conversations form the basis for the book that Reve publishes in 1967.
In addition to etching, Pannekoek spends the summers at automobile races, where he works as an assistant mechanic for Tonio Hildebrand, Gijs van Lennep en Ben Pon. He had learned the trade from his friend Karel Oudewortel (‘a genius of a Porsche racing driver’).

Hitchhikes to (the former) Yugoslavia (see FP 66-7, FP 67-7) and accompanies Charles and Elektra Grewel to Athens in the winter.

Moves abroad for good. After leaving Greece he goes to Antibes until the summer, and then leaves for Catalonia in August. He stays for just under a year in Tarragona, where he is allowed to use the press in the art college and etches the Rose Window of Tarragona Cathedral (FP 68-6). Makes many etchings, largely of Spanish landscapes (FP 67-21-25), in which both the subjects and technique express his admiration for Hercules Segers (1589/90-after 1633).
At the end of November Gerard Reve publishes his Veertien etsen van Frans Lodewijk Pannekoek voor arbeiders verklaard, Amsterdam (Thomas Rap) 1967, which is dedicated to Willem Bruno van Albada, J.E.C. Schook, F.W.J.A. Schook-Tollius Glusenkamp and Helmi Slaaf. An etched view of Tarragona (FP-67-22A) is added to the deluxe edition. On 8 December Reve is a guest on the popular TV programme Mies-en-Scène in which, without the artist’s knowledge, he announces the sale of Pannekoek prints at the Thomas Rap publishing house in the Reguliersdwarsstraat in Amsterdam the following day, which is a success.

In the artist’s absence Reve opens an exhibition of his paintings, drawings and prints (11 January to 6 February 1968) in the Pribaut gallery in Amsterdam. The spoof announcement that the prints were by Reve himself causes a sensation in the Dutch press until journalists run the artist to ground in Tarragona. Later that year Pannekoek stays in Valls until moving to Conil [de la Frontera] in Andalusia.

Remains initially in Conil de la Frontera before buying a plot of land and two cottages in Zahora near Vejer de la Frontera. After a period on Tenerife in 1970 he starts building his house. Stays in Spain for the rest of his life, apart from a long period in France between 1986 and 2005, with fairly regular visits to the Netherlands. While there in the summer of 1969 he gives a number of interviews, some of them about Reve, who had been awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize for literature and had renounced his friendship with Pannekoek. In January 1969 he suggests Thomas Rap publish a bibliophile anthology of seven small etchings to be titled Cambio de Vida en el Siglo xx. The plan gets no further than a dummy that he sends to Rap in March (FP 69-9). Later that year he also makes a number of etchings (combined with aquatint) to mark the American moon landing on 20 July 1969 (FP 69-1-3 and 5/6).

In early 1970 he has a successful exhibition of prints at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris (31 January-22 February). Carlos van Hasselt, curator of the Fondation Custodia, and its director from May 1970, buys several of the sheets for his own account and continues supporting him for the rest of his life.
From February 1970 until early 1971 he and Helmi stay on Tenerife and El Hierro. The prints that he makes there illustrate the hunting for hares, pheasants and snipe (FP 70-1/4, 5, 10/11, see also FP 76-4). In the autumn he is back in Friesland in the Netherlands (Onderdendam),where he makes his last prints on his old press, which is still there.

Once again in his absence, an exhibition of his paintings, drawings and prints, together with watercolours by Joost Roelofsz, opens on 18 January and runs until 6 February in Galerie Balans (the successor to Galerie Pribaut) in Amsterdam.
Returns to Andalusia in early 1971 and goes to Zahora in the spring.
At the end of the year (2-31 December 1971) there is a second exhibition of drawings and prints at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris. This is the year that sees the start of the personal patronage of the artist by Carlos van Hasselt, who gives him a monthly allowance in return for the right of first refusal of his latest prints. While he is in Paris he meets Mària van Berge, the new curator of the Fondation Custodia, who makes a selection of his prints together with Van Hasselt. That autumn he first sees prints by Charles Donker at the latter’s exhibition in Galerie Balans. It is the start of a lifelong artistic friendship.

Travels to Sweden in October to go hunting around Grannäs with his friend, the surgeon Rudolf Lemperg. Before leaving for the hunt he watches an operation performed by Lemperg, the sketches of which are preserved in a sketchbook. The black grouse they shoot at this time is the subject of the etching Orre, of December 1972 (FP 72-17). Marsh-Ptarmigan above a Swedish Landscape (FP 72-18) also dates from this period.
In October 1973 he goes hunting with Lemperg again, first in Lapland and later in Grannäs. Game that they hunt in Sweden, like the black grouse, marsh ptarmigan and capercaillie, are recorded in his prints from those years, along with pheasants and ducks (FP 73-3, 74-1, 1A, 2, 2A, 77-2).

Continues building his house in Zahora, where he also keeps horses. He meets up again with his old girlfriend Marja van der Veen, who moves in with him until the mid-1980s, some of the time with her young American son.
Most of the drypoint prints from these years are of Spanish coastal landscapes (FP-72-6, 11, 13, 16, 74-10/17). There are also Dutch landscapes (FP 72-1/4, 14, 73-2, 74-4/7), with reminscences of his native country. He makes a series of impressions of the etching with drypoint and aquatint called Human Skull Seen from above of 1972 (FP-72-7) in an exploration of graphic potentialities. In June 1974 he visits Chartres (FP-75-2) and Deauville (FP 75-7/8).

Discovers hang gliding through an American called Stuart who turns up from Lisbon to go gliding near the Sierra Nevada in Spain. Hang gliding now becomes an important part of Pannekoek’s life and work (FP 75-1 and 75-3/5), until an accident in the autumn of 2011 puts an end to it.
At the end of May (24 May 1-June 1975) there is an exhibition of his work at the house of the collector Antonio de la Herran Matorras, in Jerez de la Frontera.

In January an attack of appendicitis consigns him to the cancer department of the local hospital, where he makes portraits of seriously ill fellow patients (see FP 76-6/7 and 77-1). In 1974 he had already made a portrait of Reve in drypoint (FP 74-9), and he now makes a self-portrait (FP 76-5).
Thanks to an exhibition of his drypoint prints in the Christopher Mendez gallery in London from 28 April to 19 May, several of his prints enter public collections in Oxford, Cambridge, Copenhagen and New York.
Although Gerard Reve had turned his back on their friendship in 1969, he and Joop Schafthuizen visit Frans Pannekoek and Marja van der Veen in Zahora in April. In reaction to that visit and to an open letter from Reve in Hollands Diep at the end of April, Pannekoek in his turn writes a long open letter to Reve in the 19 June issue of the same periodical, putting his side of the story.

At the end of the year the Erven Thomas Rap publishes Prenten, Gedichten & Enige Aantekeningen (Prints, Poems & Some Notes), which is dedicated to Marja van der Veen and Carlos van Hasselt. It is a combination of reproductions of recent prints and Pannekoek’s own notes and poems, and also appears in a collectors’ edition of 125 copies and a print (FP 75-3).

A joint exhibition of the prints of Pannekoek and Charles Donker, both of whom sell well, opens at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris (11 January-15 February), coinciding with a show devoted to the seventeenth-century Bohemian printmaker Wenceslaus Hollar, who spent much of his life in England. Peter Schatborn begins collecting Pannekoek’s work after seeing the exhibition.
After making Dutch scenes based on his reminiscences (FP 77-4, 78-2, 81-4, 82-11) he turns to drypoint prints of Spanish seascapes and beach scenes. There are also numerous prints of ships, both moored in a harbour and drawn up on a beach, including shipwrecks and repairs to them that are decidedly monumental (FP 81-1, 10).

Finishes building the house in Zahora (and buying the land), and rents a studio in Los Canôs. His output of prints falls off and inspiration begins to desert him. In 1982 he visits Lisbon, which produces just a single drypoint (FP 83-7), and in 1983 he makes a few drypoint portraits (FP 83-4-5).
In the autumn of 1983 he publishes an anthology of his old etching plates titled A Letter for Posterity after the Nuclear War, in which the scenes are cancelled by etching texts on top of them (FP 83-Book). He runs off six sets that he offers for sale at 6,000 guilders each. This is followed by a long period of stagnation in his graphic work, from 1983 to 1991, when he makes hardly any new prints. His relationship with his old flame Marja van der Veen (FP 83-4 and 9) comes to an end.

Reve publishes his letters to Pannekoek in Brieven aan Frans P. 1965-1969, almost half of which have already appeared in Het Lieve Leven (1974). Early in the year (22 February-27 March) he takes part in a group show in the Galerie Nanky de Vreeze in Amsterdam. It is accompanied by a TV interview in Hier is… Adriaan van Dis (15 February) and another with Bibeb that was published in Vrij Nederland (25 February).

In January 1985, despite a letter of recommendation from Van Hasselt, Pannekoek fails to secure funding for his project to reconstruct the travels of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601) through southern Spain, illustrated with his own etchings of contemporary city views.

Moves with his new girlfriend, the French psychologist Françoise Kéruzoré, to Draveil, near Paris.
In the autumn (19 November-6 December) there is an exhibition of his prints in the Palacio Provincial (Diputación) in Cadiz, accompanied by the publication Reflexion en Pannekoek by Rafael Perez Estrada (Jerez de la Frontera 1986).

Lives in the Mainville quarter of Draveil, and regularly goes hang gliding in Laragne-Monteglin (Hautes-Alpes). In this period he concentrates on watercolours and drawings, which he exhibits at the Galerie Petit in Amsterdam in 1988 and 1991.

On 17 March 1990 Yannick Charles Pannekoek is born in Digne-les-Bains, the son of Françoise Kéruzoré and Frans Lodewijk Pannekoek. The parents’ relationship breaks down soon afterwards.
Later that year he moves to Montjay Village (Hautes-Alpes), where his son regularly comes to stay.
In addition to watercolours he is now painting in oils on acrylics.

In 1991, 1994 and 1995 he again produces a few etchings, the output of which gathers pace once more in 1997.

At the beginning of the year he exhibits at the Galerie Imago in Amsterdam, mainly watercolours, seven of which he sells, as well as a large painting with a View of Paris seen from the Centre Pompidou.
In February and March he is at Mimizan-Plage, and in the spring he moves to ‘Les Oeufs’, Mison (Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence), where he lives in a barn that he does up himself. In November his stepfather Schook dies, from whom he inherits furniture and prints.

Perhaps encouraged by the sale of a picture in 1993 he starts to focus on painting. He speaks of a revival in his art, makes a handful of etchings and produces twenty paintings, which are offered for sale at an exhibition at the Galerie Imago in Amsterdam.
He and his girlfriend Emanuelle Fourat visit Venice at Christmas 1994, which gives rise to several paintings and a few prints.

Carlos van Hasselt marks his retirement as director of the Fondation Custodia by presenting it with his entire Pannekoek collection. It consists of almost all the graphic oeuvre up to 1994, in a variety of states and impressions: 327 of them in all, plus the book with the prints reworked in 1983, and the drawings acquired directly from the artist between 1970 and 1994.

Is injured in a hang gliding accident, for which he has an operation on his back and is confined to hospital. He is unable to travel to Amsterdam in September for his exhibition of paintings and prints in Galerie Imago. The paintings are taken to Amsterdam by his sister Tita and her son. The exhibition was not a success and only one painting is sold, for 5,000 guilders. He decides not to hold any more sales exhibitions of his work.

Living in Montfroc (Drôme), he converts the Salle de Gailhard Bancel leisure centre into a dwelling, where he lives with his girlfriend Anneke van Brussel (FP 99-1, 6, FP 02-15 and FP 09-1) around the turn of the century. There is an upsurge in his output of etchings that continues until October 2002.
Makes a small volume titled Les épines de l’amour (The Thorns of Love; see FP 97-album) with seven drypoint prints and accompanying handwritten notes dedicated to his muse Sandrine Gabriel.

Plans on moving back to southern Spain (his Paradise Lost) from France take on further shape when the relationship with his Montfroc lover Laurence Calabrese comes to an end. From 2000 he regularly spends longer periods in Spain, also accompanied by his son Yannick, and goes hang gliding with friends.
Although he makes few prints at the beginning of the century, in 2002 he creates a large group of drypoints of Spanish landscapes FP 02-1/7, 16/17).

Has a hang gliding accident near Saint-Vincent-les-Forts (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) (FP 01-18) and has to have an operation on his neck.

In March he returns from Montfroc to Spain, to Zahora, buys a plot of land near San Ambrosio but is refused a building permit and is pursued by summonses.
Makes a number of drypoint prints in the autumn (FP 05-1/10).

Builds his house ‘Los Albitrios’ in a hilly region near Algodonales. Returns to printmaking in 2009, and makes a series of drypoints and etchings, among them a human skull after a painting attributed to Hercules Segers (FP 09-5).

In the summer has a retrospective in the Rembrandthuis (26 June-3 October) consisting of a selection of his graphic work supplemented with several drawings belonging to the Fondation Custodia and a single painting.
For the exhibition, which is staged partly on the initiative of the Hercules Segers Stichting, Peter Schatborn and Mària van Berge-Gerbaud write a catalogue dedicated to the memory of Carlos van Hasselt.

The Fondation Custodia exhibition previously held in Amsterdam runs from 24 March to 22 May at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris. As an act of homage Pannekoek makes a print with the portrait of Carlos van Hasselt, who had died in January 2011 (FP 11-1).
In the autumn he has a serious accident with his hang glider, and from mid-November spends four months in a hospital in Cadiz. He takes a very long time to recover, and is unable to make prints.

Ger Luijten and Jan Piet Filedt Kok visit him in Algodonales, making arrangements for the catalogue and selecting several prints missing from the Custodia collection which are acquired in 2017. Soon afterwards he starts making prints again. A series of etchings and drypoints follow between April 2016 and March 2017 (FP 16-1/8 and FP 17-1/7), some of which are in very varied impressions. Experiments with highly coloured impressions, including a series of 46 with portraits of his muse Susana Valle from the village of Algodonales (FP 16-3).

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