Two boys from Katendrecht (2017) Dolf Henkes

Aad Hoogendoorn
About the artwork

In this ornament list we see a painting of two young boys who lived at Katendrecht. Jan (left) was 15 year and Dick (right) was 14 year, when Dolf Henkes made a painting of them in his studio in 1956. Dick (1942) has been living on the Cape all his life, still today. He remembers playing with his friend Jan when Dolf asked them if they wanted to pose for him. Dick is the boy with the bow tie, but he has never been so smart in the past, he said when he was looking at the painting in the ornament frame. The composition of the painting has been adapted by Atelier Leo Mineur for the narrow frame. In the summer of 2017 Two boys from Katendrecht and eight other ornament frames, containing restored and new works of art in the Katendrecht district of Rotterdam, completed. They have been realized in the project Cape color, a collaboration between Verhalenhuis Belvédère and BKOR.

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About the artist

From childhood, Dolf Henkes drew and painted (Rotterdam, 1903 - Rotterdam, 1989). He grew up in the port area of ​​Katendrecht and sailed from 1926 to 1928. After that, the art attracted more and more. He received his first exhibition in London at 1929, three years later he took the step to establish himself as an artist. From 1935 to 1937, he lived in Paris, the epicenter of art. But when the war started, he returned to Katendrecht - almost forever. In 1940 he moved into a house on Veerlaan 92a with his family. The war "awakened him to color," he later says, and he continued to paint color, with strange overflowing hues. His work has an expressive, 'loose' style in an unmistakable handwriting and sometimes remarkable techniques. In 1944 he drew the ravages of the war in Rotterdam. After the war he continues to travel and his fame grows. Not only as an artist, but also because of his quarrel with the underworld, he made the newspapers. Because in 1956 a brothel opened next to his house on the Veerlaan, where he then lives with his brother and two sisters. After a stab incident, in which Dolf stabbed an attacker from his brother, he received a suspended prison sentence of four months and was not allowed to come to Katendrecht for two years. He would then continue to live in Katendrecht until his death, where he had lost his heart. You can see that in his paintings: a lot of Rotterdam, the river, harbor, boats in the fog. But also portraits, human figures, clowns, still lifes, sometimes a religious theme. He practiced a very own graphic and realistic style of hard lines and lyrical colors. Together with Wally Elenbaas and Daan van Golden, Henkes was one of the best-known Cape painters. When he was 85, he died in the house on the Veerlaan with his beloved view over the Maas. Nowadays, the Dolf Henkes Prize is awarded every two years in its name to a quirky artist.

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Katendrechtsestraat 198, 3072 NX Rotterdam, Netherlands