Cees Brokke “The Spirit of the House”


U.S, 20th c.

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A wonderful surrealist Mid-Century painting by the noted Dutch/American artist Artist Cees Brokke. It it’s original frame, we did have to have the linen liner replaced.
From an old ny times article is this blurb about the artist Several miles away, tucked along a wooded road near a busy White Plains thoroughfare, the artist Cees Brokke, his wife, Marie, and their two grown children, Nancy and Clifford, who are also artists, live in a 159-year-old former farmhouse. Every day, Mr. Brokke, a native of the Netherlands who is a retired freelance designer for such companies as K.L.M., El Al and Bristol-Myers, climbs the uneven wooden stairs to the small building on the property that once served as a general store. There, he paints fantasy-laden pictures, mingling space exploration, religion and mythology, and carves intricate wooden sculptures. In the kitchen of the farmhouse, purchased by Mrs. Brokke’s grandfather in 1834 and later rebuilt by her father, Nancy Brokke carves stylized wood horses and other works and fashions life-size soft sculptures. A stairway lined with the family’s artwork leads to an another studio, where Clifford Brokke paints detailed three-by-four-foot pictures, which have won him awards. When the younger Mr. Brokke became ill with rheumatoid arthritis in 1982, he was forced to abandon the pen-and-ink drawings he had been doing and find a medium that would accommodate his restricted hand movements. The paintings, with their maze-like designs, earthy colors and natural imagery incorporating Aztec, Peruvian and Asian figures, are frequently exhibited in art shows for the disabled as well as in galleries. Nancy Brokke’s figures are often on view at the Mari Galleries in Mamaroneck, where she works part time as an assistant manager, while Clifford Brokke’s paintings can be seen through Wednesday in the Lumen Winter Gallery of the New Rochelle Public Library. Two of his works are also part of the current exhibition at the White Plains Medical Center art gallery. The elder Mr. Brokke proudly shows visitors through his historic home, which now occupies slightly more than one of its original 32 acres, using century-old sales slips — safeguarded in scrapbooks by Clifford — to help tell the house’s tale. He says the three artists work independently. “We never interfere with each other,” Cees Brokke said. The Time Has Come Like Mr. Brokke, whose teeming imagination also leads him to write mystical short stories and novels based on his Dutch heritage, Mr. Landzberg is retired. Unlike Mr. Brokke, however, the Yorktown Heights resident did not work full-time as an artist until April, when he chose to take early retirement from his job as a senior engineer with International Business Machines. He was waiting for the day when his three children were financially independent, Mr. Landzberg said, to devote himself to the artwork that has absorbed him since his own childhood. Now that the time has come, “it’s a wonderful feeling,” he said. Mr. Landzberg’s one-man sculpture exhibition, spanning his work from the last two decades, will be on view through tomorrow at the Howland Center in Beacon. Some of the large steel sculptures and silk-screen prints can be seen after that at the Gallery in Pound Ridge, and at the Millbrook Gallery in Millbrook and the Rovereto Gallery in Rhinebeck. The artist welds his six-foot sculptures from found materials, creating curved forms with both outdoor and indoor finishes. In an earlier period, he said, he used blacksmithing tools to forge figures, but abandoned these techniques for the greater flexibility of welding. Now, Mr. Landzberg said, he is exploring “a range of concepts that relate to perception,” working with painted metal to integrate the views seen from looking into and out of windows.