Ger Gerrits was a painter and graphic artist who was a key driving force behind the Vrij Beelden, Creatie and Liga Nieuw Beelden artists’ associations in the period after 1945. Having started out as a lithographer, in 1928 he decided to establish himself as an independent artist. In the 1940s he exchanged his figurative, realistic pictorial style for complete abstraction, led by the desire to free art from its pre-war constraints. Colour and form came into their own in his work as fully autonomous elements. In these early years Gerrits showed his pictures under the pseudonym ‘Portheine’, including at an exposition of the Vrij Beelden group in 1949. In 1950, he and Willy Broers founded the Creatie association for artists working in a purely non-figurative idiom.