It is more than 50 years ago now that the artist Frans (Lodewijk) Pannekoek (Den Dolder 1937) embarked on a career as a graphic artist, mainly of drypoint prints and etchings. His work drew national attention in 1967 with the publication of Gerard Kornelis van het Reve’s Veertien etsen van Frans Lodewijk Pannekoek voor arbeiders verklaard (Fourteen etchings by Frans Lodewijk Pannekoek Explained for Workers). As the years passed he gradually built up an oeuvre of more than 350 prints, starting in 1959 in the Netherlands and then, often at long intervals from 1968 on, in Spain and France. They are chiefly small prints of landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits characterised by a subtle use of the drypoint, a technique that permits only a limited number of impressions. As a result the variations between impressions make them look like monotypes, particularly in his later work. The effects of plate tone and light and shade imparts a haunting serenity to the descriptions of space and atmosphere.
This RKD Study presents an overview of Pannekoek’s graphic art from 1959 to 2017. The catalogue details more than 350 different prints, with reproductions of most of the impressions in public collections.
The Fondation Custodia (Frits Lugt Collection) in Paris has the lion’s share of those impressions. Carlos van Hasselt (1929-2009), director of the Fondation from 1970 to 1994, was almost systematic in his selection of Pannekoek’s works. In 1994 he donated his collection to the Fondation, and his successors followed in his footsteps by regularly buying the artist’s work, with the result that the collection now runs to 865 impressions. In addition, the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam has a collection of around 95 prints, almost all of which (together with seven of his drawings) were donated between 2008 and 2017 by Peter Schatborn, who worked there as curator and ultimately Head of the Printroom until 2002, and had been collecting Pannekoek’s work since 1979. The catalogue in the present publication also lists a small number of impressions assembled by the Haags Gemeentemuseum in the early 1970s, as well as others in foreign and private collections.
Zeilvlieger bij Vejer, effect of earth, gedateerd maart 1975
Parijs, Fondation Custodia - Collection Frits Lugt, inv./cat.nr. 1994-P.60