Jean-Paul Vroom

Set designer

photoDutch painter, illustrator, screen printer and set designer, born in The Hague in 1922. He received his education first from his father and later from 1938 in his hometown at the Royal Academy of Art. After he had to leave the academy in 1939, the first exhibitions followed, among others in The Hague and Amsterdam (Kunsthandel Landweer). Influences during these years were the style of the Bauhaus, New Realism and Surrealism. During the Second World War, he joined the Resistance. Being wanted by the Gestapo, he decided to flee to Spain in 1943 but did not get beyond Paris, where he lived until 1955. There he took part in a group exhibition, and from 1944 he continued his training in engraving and lithography techniques at the École Supérieure des Arts et Industries Graphiques (ESAIG). In 1946 his first illustrations of literary works appeared, among them the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. Important exhibitions in Amsterdam (1949) and Strasbourg (1952) followed. From 1954 he created stage designs in Italy, and in the 1960’s he developed a keen interest in photography and film. 1970 with the ballet Situation he started his close collaboration with Hans van Manen, whose choreographic works Jean-Paul Vroom shaped over many years with his designs, i.a.: Twilight, Adagio Hammerklavier (both were staged in our theatre in 1986), Grosse Fuge and 5 Tangos. In 2006 the artist died in Amsterdam.