Johfra – Hoogste Lichten en Diepste Schaduwen
Johfra (1919 – 1998) is one of the most important Dutch artists of Fantastic Realism of the 19th century. The book “Johfra – Hoogste Lichten en Diepste Schaduwen” has 510 pages and gives a complete overview about his work and life. It has become the standard reference of Johfra‘s work.
Renowned Johfra expert and poet Gerrit Luidinga has written the book, but it also includes an introduction from Ernst Fuchs. Fuchs says of Johfra, “For decades I have studied the work of Johfra and the development of his cosmology. The art of Johfra is closely related to the Mannerists of northern Europe. His color and shapes yielded expressive heraldic symbols which produce an imagery that allows one to take in the sense of an inner spiritual experience without any need for explanation or interpretation.”
The text of the book is written in Dutch, but that won’t stop anybody from enjoying the artwork therein. Although if one could read Dutch, there are some very interesting excerpts from Johfra‘s on diary of twenty parts (from 1938 to 1998) and totalling some six thousand pages.
The excerpts include the time Johfra made an unannounced visit on Dali, and was greeted with a rather ordinary looking man in his comfortable home clothes, and a long drooping moustache. The rather subdued man who answered the door asked his visitor to return again tomorrow. On the following day at the appointed time, there at the door greeted Johfra the showman Dali that world was familiar with. He wrote later that he was rather disappointed with the experience because felt that Dali was but a hollow shell.
The book groups Jofra’s artwork into five periods of his life, as he started out on his art career, to living in the Hague, later the Alps, then Périgord Noir in France and his final years.
For all who love Fantastic Realism this book is a must have.