Jef Diederen (Heerlen, August 25, 1920 – Amsterdam, March 26, 2009) was a Dutch painter and graphic artist. Diederen was one of the so-called Amsterdam Limburgers. His later painting is counted as abstract art. Life and work [edit | edit source text] From 1939 to 1943 he attended the Secondary Arts and Crafts School in Maastricht, where he met Pieter Defesche and Ger Lataster. The applied arts school taught students in almost all disciplines of art, from painting and graphics to glass art and theater design. Jef continued his studies (Drawing in Drawing) at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1943, but left again a year later, to continue his studies in 1947. He participated in the group exhibition Amsterdam painters of Nu in 1948 and completed his studies in Monumental and Decorative Painting in 1951. In 1948, 1949 and 1950 he received the Royal Grant for Painting. Besides Lataster, Diederen also met Karel Appel and Corneille at the Rijksacademie as his fellow students. Until 1955 he mostly painted landscape gouaches, drawings. They are mostly realistic landscapes from his native region of South Limburg. The painters referred to as ‘Amsterdam Limburgers’ eventually became known for a wide variety of work, but they were all deeply influenced by French post / impressionist art. After that he developed – like Ger Lataster – in an abstract direction, although the landscape remained a great inspiration to him. The dimensions of his oil paintings were often idiosyncratic and therefore stood out. He also combined canvases in various sizes. Jef Diederen’s art is lyrical abstract with a friendly and soft appearance, despite the strong colors. France has been an important source of inspiration for this. His work is further characterized by strong social commitment. He makes works in response to, among others, Apartheid in South Africa, the fate of the Jews in World War II, Nazi executions in Ukraine, the oppression of the Indians in the US, the Palestinian intifada, the political prisoners in Spain under the Franco regime and the Vietnam War, but with his landscapes he also has an eye for the depopulation of the countryside in France. He makes extensive homages to his jazz heroes like Albert Ayler or favorite artists like Cézanne, and his artist friends Lei Molin and Pieter Defesche. He is inspired by the texts of his friends the poets Lucebert and Bert Schierbeek and by medieval Spanish stories (such as ‘Romance del Prisonero’). As an idiosyncratic artist, he has never sought permanent connections with groups or movements. In addition to his many paintings and works on paper, he also performed various assignments for murals and stained glass windows. He is one of the most prominent graphic artists in the Netherlands after the Second World War. He also taught at the Art Academy in Den Bosch. In 1987 he was awarded the Jeanne Oosting Prize, a prize in recognition of the individual artistic quality of an oeuvre within figurative art.