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Carel Willink


Albert Carel Willink   (1900 – 1983),

Magic realism “imaginary realism”.

Albert Carel Willink was born on 7 March 1900 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.[1] He was the eldest son of the mechanic Jan Willink and Wilhelmina Altes. His father was an amateur artist who encouraged his son to paint.

After briefly studying medicine, in 1918-19 Willink studied architecture at the Technische Hogeschool in Delft. Afterwards he left for Germany, where he failed to get into the academy in Düsseldorf. He later studied for a short time at the Staatliche Hochschule in Berlin, followed by the International art academy from Hans Baluschek, where he explored several types of Avant Garde and abstract art, and met the Berlin based artist Herbert Behrens-Hangeler with whom he became close friends.

Willink’s earliest paintings were in an expressionist manner, although he also painted abstract works at the time that he exhibited with the November group in 1923. At the end of 1923 he moved back to Amsterdam. By 1924 he had adopted a figurative style influenced by Picasso‘s neoclassical paintings of the early 1920s, and especially by Léger. Later in the decade, Willink developed a magic realist style related to the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico.

From 1924 until his death Willink lived in Amsterdam. His realistically rendered paintings frequently depict slightly disquieting scenes taking place in front of imposing buildings. He also painted many portraits.