Lucebert pseudonym of Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk (Amsterdam 1924 – Alkmaar 1994), was an influential Dutch artist, poet and writer.
Lucebert grew up in poverty and lost his father at a young age. Nevertheless, he developed an early interest in art and literature. His artistic career began in the 1940s, when he was self-taught as a painter and soon attracted attention with his distinctive style. His early work showed influences of surrealism and expressionism.
In 1949, Lucebert was a founding member of the experimental artists’ group Cobra, along with other artists such as Karel Appel and Corneille. Cobra was known for its revolutionary approach to art, in which spontaneity and expressiveness were central. Lucebert’s work within Cobra, both paintings and poems, was innovative and challenging.
As a poet, Lucebert published his first book of poetry, “Apocrief / the analphabetic name”, in 1952. His poetry was characterised by an experimental use of language, playing with words, sounds and meanings. Lucebert is considered one of the most important Dutch poets of the 20th century.
In the years that followed, Lucebert’s work evolved towards a more abstract style, using a variety of techniques and materials. His paintings were characterised by colourful compositions and expressive brushstrokes. Besides his work as a visual artist and poet, Lucebert was also involved in writing essays and creating graphic work.
After the Cobra period, Lucebert was considered one of the leading figures in the Dutch art scene. His work was internationally recognised and exhibited. Despite his success, Lucebert continued to reinvent and experiment himself. In later years, he received several prizes and awards for his contributions to art and literature.
Paintings by Lucebert are in the collection of numerous (international) museums, including: Cobra Museum, Amstelveel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Museo Fundación Antonio Pérez, Cuenca (Spain).