Gerard Petrus Fieret

Gerard Petrus Fieret (1924-2009) was born and raised in The Hague. In 1939 he took a preparatory evening course at the Academy of Art in The Hague. In 1943, he was sent to a number of forced-labour camps in Germany. He returned to The Hague at the end of the Second World War. After enrolling for a year at the Academy of Art in 1947, he spent time at the Vrije Academie in The Hague. He mainly produced charcoal portraits, while working occasionally as an antique dealer in Asian, Oceanian and African arts.

Around 1965, he became involved in photography and earned a small number of professional commissions for private portraits, photographs of exhibition openings, etc. Through Professor Henri van de Waal at Leiden University, future curators Hans Locher, Rudi Fuchs and Els Barents, then students, discovered Fieret’s work. The trio exhibited and acquired his photographs in the 1970s, in their respective institutions: among others, we can mention a solo show in 1971 at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, a major exhibition accompanied by a catalogue in 1976 at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, and several acquisitions by The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

His productivity slows down significantly from 1975 onwards, apart from a series of colour photographs produced around 1979. Beginning in the 1980s, he began donating prints to museums, signing and stamping his photographs. His psychiatric problems, in particular, signs of paranoia, became more marked. He became an offbeat figure, known in The Hague for feeding and living

with pigeons, and playing panpipes in the street.

In 2004, the Fotomuseum Den Haag, which had recently opened, held a retrospective show of his work to mark his 80th birthday, accompanied by a catalogue. Gerard Fieret died in The Hague on January 22, 2009.


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