Genk, Willem van

Parnasky Culture
  • Parnasky Culture
  • Tube Station
  • 50 Jaar Soviet-Unie
  • Madrid
  • Le salon de coiffure
  • Sans titre
  • Sans titre
  • Portrait de Willem Van Genk

Parnasky Culture

Genk, Willem van Parnasky Culture, 1972 oil on fibreboard 70 x 142 cm © photo credit Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne


Genk, Willem van, (1927-2005), Netherlands


Willem van Genk was born in Voorburg, the Netherlands. He was subject to serious health problems, as well as behavioural problems, from a very early age. He started to draw both at school and at home, finding in this mode of expression a way of escaping from his solitary and difficult childhood. As an adolescent he was placed in an orphanage, then in a Christian arts and crafts school where he took courses in commercial art. But being incapable of adaptation, he was eventually accepted in a workshop for the mentally handicapped in The Hague.

The paintings that he created at home, in his flat, involved complex cut-out and collage processes. They were directly inspired by his many journeys to the former Soviet Union, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen, Cologne and Prague, among other places. He also drew inspiration from various guidebooks or photographs derived from his own research.
In 1988, Willem Van Genk stopped painting and launched into making models of buses constructed from a variety of recycled materials.


Exhibition(s) at the Art Brut Collection