Ben Joppe

Ben Joppe (1915-2007) was an unconventional painter with an unconventional career. Joppe left the Netherlands in 1939, only to return in the seventies, cosmopolitan in his views and a Zen Buddhist at heart. After having been interred in a Japanese camp in the Netherlands Indies, he worked for several international companies in the Far East. There he became friends with the writer Graham Greene. After moving to Japan around 1954, Joppe became the promotor of the Philips label ‘Phonogram’ and subsequently director of the Dutch Pavillion at the World Expo in Osaka in 1970. Privately, Joppe became friends with Japan’s leading avantgarde artists, such as Shiko Munakata and Seutso Yanagi. He learned woodblock printing and as the first non-Japanese artist he won the national prize in 1957. Joppe returned to the Netherlands in the early 1970’s as the personal secretary to the world famous orchestra director Bernard Haitink, a position which he held until 1993. Then Joppe could devote himself to painting and produced a plethora of abstract works, based on nature, feeling and music. Joppe also met the young artist Guido Pera, whom he regarded as his spiritual and artistic heir.

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  • Book type: PDF
  • Suitable for: All digital media
  • Author: Marty Bax
  • Subject: Painting, Japanese woodblock printing, music, literature
  • Language: Dutch
  • Book type: Exhibition catalogue
  • Name Tags: Ben Joppe, Bernard Haitink, Shiko Munakata, Graham Greene, Guido Pera