In 1916 Alexandrine left Indonesia for the Netherlands, at the age of 13.
Profession/occupation: housewife.
Start artwork: in 1960 during a stay in Vence, southern France, an immediate revelation for herself.
(Solo-) exhibitions: 1964 Paris Benezit Gallery; 1976 Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum.
References: Bihalji-Merin, Oto, a.o.; World Encyclopedia of Naive Art, Belgrade 1984; Jakovsky, Anatole, Peintres Naifs, Basel 1976, p. 74; Van der Endt, Nico; Lexicon Nederlandse naïeve kunst van de twintigste eeuw / Lexicon of twentieth century Dutch naïve art, Venlo/Antwerpen, 1995, pp. 16-17.

Alexandrine Kelder-Gortmans, who signed with her first name, was born in 1903 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her mother passed away in 1916, on a journey to the Netherlands. She was insulted by strangers on the street in The Hague because of her Indonesian appearance. Out of distain she subsequently never wanted to paint a Dutch subject. She married painter and sculptor Toon Kelder (1894-1973), who developed from figurative to abstract expressionist after the war and then turned his back to paint and brush, finally becoming a geometric-abstract sculptor. She undoubtedly learned several techniques from him. The couple moved to southern France in 1960. In these subtropical natural surroundings, Alexandrine imagined herself back in her happy childhood. She began to draw and paint. Characteristic of her work is the depiction of tropical vegetation and the deep blue-green coloration. The sentimental atmosphere expresses more than just personal nostalgia and memories of youth. With oil paint on canvas as the thematic for both landscapes and portraits, she chose – as autodidact – conventional ‘academic’ depictions.

Alexandrine Kelder - Gortmans
1903 Jakarta, Java, Indonesia - 1980 Den Haag, Netherlands