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Evert van Uitert

Alphabetum XI
De Bibliotheek Evert van Uitert

03.09.2022, 20:00 hrs
03.09.2022 — ongoing
West Den Haag in the former American Embassy, Lange Voorhout 102, The Hague

From Alan Watts to Nietzsche and from Moby Dick to collected art books of Van Gogh; this presentation is a selection from Evert van Uitert’s large collection of mostly modern art books. After his death in May 2021, the personal collection of books was donated to ‘m d d: arts’ and West Den Haag.

The presentation 'Alphabetum XI, De Bibliotheek Evert van Uitert' makes this extensive collection of thousands of books available for research, education and inspiration in an accessible way. In addition, experts, such as PhD students of Van Uitert and other bibliophiles, have been invited to reflect on this unique collection.
The first guest in the series is Anthony Blokdijk, who has selected thirty publications to which Van Uitert had written contributions for during his career. The last four months, Blokdijk looked at the collection book by book, ordered it, and then divided it into different categories. With the presentation, the Alphabetum organization wants to encourage its visitors to dive into the library themselves and discover new things. ‘Librarian’ Anthony Blokdijk tips Salvador Dalí’s bulky catalog with the specially designed plastic carrying bag.

‘De Bibliotheek Evert van Uitert’ has a different function than most, more conventional libraries. While the latter wants to facilitate its visitors to mainly find the books they are looking for, the Alphabetum has a different goal with 'De Bibliotheek Evert van Uitert'. The Alphabetum wants to bring visitors into contact with books in particular, which we may have never heard of, and in this way, through books, to get to know the person behind the books — Evert van Uitert.

Evert van Uitert (Amsterdam, 1936 – 2021) was a Dutch art historian and professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, and in his field of modern art he was a great expert on Van Gogh. Van Uitert has been publishing about the world-famous painter since 1970, several of whose works have been translated into German, English and Spanish, among others. In 1990, he also participated in the major retrospective and commemorative exhibitions in the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum. In addition to his publications, Van Uitert also wrote for De Gids and De Volkskrant, in which he not only shared his knowledge and fascination with Van Gogh, but also that of other great artists such as Malevich.

Graduated in 1983 with a dissertation that caused a stir, Van Uitert had developed a unique approach, placing the artist and his artistic process in their context and looking at what had shaped them. Later, this approach became a common method among art historians. Van Uitert often managed to distinguish himself from his colleagues, and was also happy to share his deviating vision of contemporary art. The material from which he worked has been made accessible in the Alphabetum of West Den Haag.

Anthony Blokdijk (The Hague, 1964) is an artist of Indo-Dutch descent, who currently works with music, painting, drawing and film. Inspired by the punk movement, he became involved in many independent/underground/do-it-yourself initiatives, such as the Maldoror Foundation, which has been organising art events, publications and exhibitions since 1987.

Many thanks to kunsthistorica Claudine Chavannes-Mazel and Menno Doornbos.