Willem Wagenaar

1909 - 1999

About the artist

Willem Wagenaar was a Dutch Surrealist painter. His small gallery Nord on the Utrechtse Vinkenburgstraat made him the magic centre of Dutch surrealism from about 1930 on. Here, he sold surrealist magazines, Gerrit Rietveld furniture, performance records and Charlie Chaplin movies. It became the meeting place of painters like Jopie Moesman and Louis Wijmans. His work was often surrounded by mystery. He started an art academy in Utrecht which was moved to Morocco around 1938. At the end of the Second World War a lot of his paintings were destroyed and he even was in prison. In the 1980s, the surrealist acitvicties and monthly meetings were resumed by a small group, including the old Wagenaar, in an Amsterdam café.