Bossert, Herman

Herman Bossert (born in 1940, Amsterdam) has spent his whole adult life on creating art, alongside his work in education. When he took early retirement in 1991, he made painting his main occupation. His early work has been regarded as ‘art singulier’; a French stylistic category situated between outsider art and art brut, because of a certain affinity to Cobra Expressionism. It was not until 2003 that he started drawing; in the first year drawing human figures and a year later revealing an endless fascination with urban architecture. Fine graphic lines, partly against a watercolour background, give rise to cathedral-like structures, town squares full of cars and human silhouettes in an ominous twilight atmosphere. Bossert himself refers to his work as ‘those scribbles’.

Exhibitions: INSITA, in: Bratislava, 2010.  Backyard Genius, Verbeke Foundation, Kemzeke, Belgium, 2009. Sous le vent de l’art brut 2. Collection De Stadshof, in: the Halle Saint Pierre, in Paris, 2014. Outsider Art, in: Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 2015.
 The Museum of Everything, in: De Kunsthal, Rotterdam, 2016. 
References: Reith, Liesbeth; Bouwwerken als kaartenhuizen; Visioenen van Herman Bossert, in: Out of Art, jg 2, nr 2, 2007. Smolders F., a.o.; SOLITARY CREATIONS. 51 Artists out of De Stadshof Collection, 2014.

Herman Bossert is a Dutch self taught artist until in 2001 he discovered that by drawing he could immediately express the essence of what occupied him most: fear of the future. Since, he has been creating haunting and mysterious town and city scenes, often with cathedral and church like structures dominating the composition. People take refuge in pompous urban constructions, the overwhelming architecture seemingly depriving them of their freedom, their creativity and their opportunities to play.

The structures can “fall down at any moment, like a house of cards”. Bossert is reticent about his work. Since 2003, he has exclusively employed a semi-automatic scratching technique using ink and watercolor associatively, unaware of the outcome. Sometimes after as little as twenty minutes, he is exhausted and stops, surprised by what he has drawn.

Herman Bossert
1940 Amsterdam, The Netherlands -