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Collector donates works to the Van Abbemuseum
Johan Lennarts, Untitled (Fence), 1960-1969. Photo Peter Cox.

EINDHOVEN.- The Dutch collector Maurice van Valen has donated 26 works to the Van Abbemuseum. These include 17 works by Johan Lennarts (Eindhoven, 1932 – 1991), 5 works by JCJ Vanderheyden, who died last year (’s- Hertogenbosch, 1928 – 2012), and 4 works by Pieter Laurens Mol (Breda, 1946). The museum already has several works by these artists in its collection and has exhibited them in various groups and solo exhibitions since the 1960s. Curator and head of collections, Christiane Berndes: “We are very happy about the donation of these works, they are a good addition to our collection. They reveal aspects of the work of these artists which have not been represented in the collection up to now.” From 8 June to 15 September 2013 a selection will be exhibited in two rooms on the ground floor of the new building of the museum, in combination with other works by these artists in the Van Abbe collection.

The collector Van Valen
Maurice van Valen(1971) comes from Eindhoven but has lived for a long time in New York, Los Angeles and London. As a collector he is interested in the relationship between the regional and the international, between the identity of a particular place and current globalisation. For the Van Abbemuseum he selected works from his collection which express this in a very special way. The works reveal a specific way of looking, working and thinking which Van Valen sees as being related to the Brabant background of the artists.

Van Valen sees a special task for himself as a collector: “Private collectors can and must make a significant and lasting contribution to supporting museums. They can help to build up and develop the collections. My move to Eindhoven is the reason to contact the Van Abbemuseum. With the donation I want to underline my commitment to my birthplace and the artistic climate in this region.” Van Valen had already made donations to the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, the Noordbrabants Museum in ’s- Hertogenbosch and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Addition to the collection
The 26 works are a good addition to the collection of the Van Abbemuseum. The museum has several works by Johan Lennarts which reveal his relationship with Cobra. The drawings and paintings which have been donated now show the important role played by his interest in nature and landscapes. There is a balance in these works between figurative and abstract aspects. The forms and structures of the landscapes are transformed into abstract lines, and vice versa.

Landscapes and regional elements also play an important role in the work by Pieter Laurens Mol. The Van Abbe collection mainly included works dating from after 1980. With the donation the museum has acquired four early works dating from the years 1965 - 1970 (three drawings and one object).

In his work JCJ Vanderheyden examines the way in which we observe things, as well as the instruments which make these observations possible (the eye, the camera), and how we represent these observations (the painting, the photograph, the combination of images). Amongst other things, the museum has received a work dating from 1999. This consists of a composition of smaller works which Vanderheyden brought together especially for Van Valen.

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