The Hague artist Willem Hussem initially painted naturalist landscapes and still lifes. During an extended stay in France, from 1933 to 1936, he met Picasso and became acquainted with indigenous art, the influences of which are visible in his work from about 1940 on. It was from the same period that his work is marked by abstraction and experimentation. During the 50s calligraphy became a major inspirational source for the painter. This led initially to all kinds of expressive forms and later, in the 60s, to balanced compositions of lines, colours and forms against a monochrome background. In 1949, as a Hague painter, Hussem joined the Amsterdam artists’ society Vrij Beelden (Free Images), which in 1955 became Liga Nieuw Beelden (New Images Alliance). In 1960 he joined the Hague painting group Fugare, whose members were against the ‘arbitrary’ aspect of Abstract Expressionism as practised, for instance, by the Cobra group. Artistically speaking, Hussem’s most productive years were the late 1950s and early 60s.