Charley Toorop great success

Photo: Fred Ernst
Photo: Fred Ernst

Only one week into the exhibition 'Surtout pas des principes! Charley Toorop' is already a success. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen received over 10.000 visitors, three times the usual number. The overview with 120 paintings, including all her self portraits, is on show in Rotterdam until January 18th 2009.

A total of 120 works have been gathered for the Charley Toorop (1891-1995) retrospective, including almost all her self-portraits. The exhibition ‘Surtout pas des principes! Charley Toorop’ has been put together by Marja Bosma, who has also written a book of the same name about the life and work of one of the foremost female Dutch artists of the 20th century. Both the exhibition and the book contain a wealth of information about Charley Toorop, clarifying associations and highlighting influences, making it easier to see how key works from her oeuvre fit into her larger body of work. This large-scale retrospective clearly highlights Toorop’s importance for Dutch art.

Toorop’s social and political commitment was the catalyst for her to develop her work into a style of confrontational realism, where she presented her subjects head on. This applies not only to her remarkable self-portraits in which she penetrates the viewer with her steely gaze, but also to her portraits of farmers, labourers and fishermen. For Charley Toorop, painting was the ultimate form of self-realisation, making her work both unavoidable and imposing. A perfect example of this is the self-portrait from 1928 that was recently acquired by Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

The exhibition ‘Surtout pas des principes! Charley Toorop’has been made possible thanks to the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the K.F. Hein Fonds.