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Joost Baljeu

11-01-1925

Joost Baljeu (1925-1991) is a visual artist. He draws inspiration from avant-garde movements from the first half of the twentieth century, such as De Stijl. Working in tandem with architect Dick van Woerkom he creates a series of scale models in which they attempt to apply the ideas of Theo van Doesburg on the integration of architecture and visual art.

During the Second World War, Baljeu trains to be a drawing teacher at the Instituut voor Kunstnijverheid in Amsterdam. After two years of national service (1946-1948) Baljeu works in a bookshop and paints in his free time.

It is now that he discovers the many avant-garde art movements of the first half of the twentieth century and, under their influence, begins to paint in an abstract style. In 1954 he gives up his job to dedicate his time entirely to his art. He also now begins to explore ways for integrating architecture and visual art, in homage to De Stijl.

Working with architect Dick van Woerkom and sculptor C. Visser, Baljeu designs a neighbourhood centre in Amsterdam North in 1955, for which he executes two monumental murals. Until 1964, Van Woerkom and Baljeu produce a series of scale models in which they attempt to apply Theo van Doesburg’s ideas about integrating architecture and art. 

Baljeu continues to have an interest in architecture and urban planning, even when his collaboration with Van Woerkom ends. In 1973-1974 he works on the "Utopian Housing System Project (HSUP)" in which he explores ways of enlivening the monotony of functional housing designs. He also designs plans for the installation of art in the public space in Tilburg, Almere and elsewhere. Joost Baljeu dies in 1991.

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