Bram van Velde on Self-Expression


“When I am painting, driven by lively tensions, I want to express what’s going on in me. When that tension has ceased, when the life in me became visible, then something happened which had to happen. Over and over again you experience a work which is created in this way. What happened? It is hard to say, because it was not my mind that led but the inner desire that revealed its inner life. […] Life and mind are continuously in conflict with each other. I want happiness, security. I won’t reach that by considerations of my mind; on the contrary they will lead to a certain despair of the inner person. Not what he thinks engages the artist, but what he feels.”

— Bram van Velde, letter to H.P. Bremmer, 17 November 1930

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