Raymundus (‘Reimond’) Josephus Petrus Kimpe
Gent (Belgium) 1885 – 1970 Goes
The Belgian born Reimond Kimpe started painting rather late, at the age of 38. By then he had been living in the Netherlands for quite some years, in Middelburg in the province of Zeeland. As a painter, Reimond Kimpe was virtually self-educated. He proved to be extremely talented. He very quickly received positive criticism about his work and exhibited in both the Netherlands and Paris. Kimpe’s early work showed a great deal of affinity with the works of Constant Permeke, Frits Van Den Berghe and Gustave and Leon De Smet. During his studies in Ghent he already met these Latem painters in the nearby painter’s village of Sint Martens Latem. After 1929, Kimpe travelled a great deal through Europe, where he became acquainted with new movements such as Magic Realism, Cubism, Constructivism and abstract art. However, despite all these different influences, the artist developed a completely personal style. His works are characterised by a strong composition and demonstrate a tremendous expressiveness by means of a unique use of colour and a stylised form, where Kimpe always searched for harmony.
Initially, Kimpe had a clear preference for painting typical subjects from Zeeland, such as striking figures in traditional costume with a background of the sea, the dyke, or the houses of Westkapelle. During his long stay in Paris, where Kimpe became acquainted with Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso through Otto van Rees, he produced a few abstract works. Nevertheless, in the period after World War II, Kimpe experienced an important change in style. His muted palette changed to a brighter use of colour. From the 1950s, Kimpe no longer built up his backgrounds from subtle brown shades, but used harsh green, blue, red and yellow. By applying various layers of colour on top of each other, his works gained more depth and a greater intensity. Kimpe also began to make his figures more abstract and he used geometric shapes more and more often.