Gérard, Thea

Background: born in the then Dutch colony Indonesia, living in a traditional Indonesian environment. In 1952 the family returned to The Netherlands.
Education: 3 years of HBS (secondary school); self-taught painter
Profession/occupation: school clerical department; housewife.
Start artwork: painting from 1960 to tell about her Indonesian youth.
Art form/medium: painting, wood carving, embroidering, ceramics, poetry.
References: Satink, Carolien; Thea Gérard, van Indonesië naar Nederland, Zwolle (Museum De Stadshof) 1996;
Bromet, J. en Endt, Nico van der; Nederlandse naïeve kunst, Venlo 1979, pp. 42-47;
Van der Endt, Nico; Lexicon Nederlandse naïeve kunst van de twintigste eeuw / Lexicon of twentieth century Dutch naïve art, Venlo/Antwerpen, 1995, pp. 42-43.

In 1960 Gérard started painting to illustrate her childhood memories in Indonesia. She shows an authentic naive talent. She is a colorful narrator. Eventually her style would display a development towards an expressive form of realism, in which deformation plays a part and nostalgia and loneliness set the tone. At an early point in Thea Gérard’s self-taught art the human figure features prominently in the foreground. In retrospect one can say that the portraits may well be the most conspicuous part of her diverse oeuvre.

Thea Gérard
1938 Jakarta, Indonesia - 1987 Den Haag, The Netherlands