With the founding of Verve in 1951 a new movement was born: de Nieuwe Haagse School (freely translated: the New The Hague School). The initiative of the founding was taken by five artists; Theo Bitter, Jan van Heel, Nol Kroes, Willem Schrofer and Frans de Wit. It was Willem Schrofer who thought of the name en wrote the founding manifest in 1951.
The grouping of roughly similarly thinking painters and sculptors from The Hague arose out of the need to have a common presence. Through their work and personal contact they reach and affect different groups of people.
The group’s exhibitions will give a more homogeneous vision than the vision of more heterogeneous collectives. Each work on its own shall therefore be more effective in transferring its meaning; its collective however, will strive for display with conservation of individual difference in predisposition and temperament.
The common goal of the members of this group will be a certain change in artist and audience, in which cultural unity is a necessary component.
Adaption and cohesion will express themselves in the work of this group. In the first place in combination with art forms like architecture and arts and crafts, through which – with conservation of the specific character of each expression – a new harmony will arise, which was missing in impressionism: a new need forces harmonious accordance.
The task of an artist is in the first place a stimulating one, or an inspiring. Inspiration and decoration of living beings. More fantasy and imagination, more verve. The work of this group wil speak strongly to the imagination, it wants to activate the mind. It’s demanding to its viewer, to not be a servant to his hedosim or sloth.
Imagining is displaying a certain image in a new material. Imagining and the principal choice of the material are the foundations of the “style” of this group. The “new” view will be based on the expression force of the material. Artist, performance and material are expressing themselves as an indivisble unity.
The goal and style of this group are social and progressive. Social because they will play a binding role in the community, progressive because the stance “back to…” is absent. Taking inspiration from all previous movements and taking into account all living forms of expression, this group will point it’s view towards the future unrelentingly.
The fifteen painters and five sculptors of the group from The Hague “Verve”.
The other artists to complete the 20 are Kees Andrea, Hannie Bal, Herman Berserik, Querine Collard, Rein Draijer, Willem Minderman, Henk Munnik, Rinus van der Neut, Ferry Slebe, Frans Vollmer, Co Westerik, Hubert Bekman, Dirk Bus, Theo van der Nahmer, Rudi Rooijackers and Bram Roth. Later on Wil Bouthoorn, George Lampe, Christiaan de Moor and Aart van den IJssel also became members. George Lampe was the first abstract painter who was admitted to the – at the time – figuratively painting group.
5 Years after the founding there was an exhibition in the Postmuseum, 5 Years of Verve.
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