Jacqueline de Jong  

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Jacqueline de Jong (born 1939) was born in the Dutch town of Hengelo to Jewish parents. Faced with the German invasion, they went into hiding. After an abortive escape attempt to England, her father Hans remained in Amsterdam while she and her mother made for Switzerland. At the border they were captured by the French police, but just as they were about to be deported to the Drancy deportation camp, they were rescued by the resistance, who helped them over the border. When they returned following the war, Jacqueline could not speak Dutch.

After a brief interlude learning drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she returned to Amsterdam to work in the Stedelijk Museum, the home of Modern Art there. She visited Paris, where she met Danish painter, Asger Jorn, the founder of the CoBrA group, with who she started a ten-year love affair. Asger Jorn was forty-five years old, compared to her twenty years.

Through Jorn she met the Situationist International, and started to participate in conferences and the Central committee. She used to stay with Guy Debord and came to embody the Dutch Section. When she supported the Spur art group, who constituted most of the German Section. As the split deepened between the Debordists and the Second Situationist International, she refused to join either faction, instead saying that people should fulfill act as situationists as they felt fit.

As for herself, between 1962 and 1967 she edited and published the Situationist Times involving Gaston Bachelard, Roberto Matta, Wilfredo Lam and Jacques Prévert in this project. In 1968 she was in Paris, printing and distributing revolutionary posters. She also collected examples for the Van Abbemuseum.

In 1970 she left Jorn and moved back to Amsterdam with Hans Brinkman, a businessman and gallery owner. Since then she has been a familiar media figure across Belgium and Holland, doing TV programmes, producing large action paintings and taking responsibility for the large mural on the new Amsterdam Town hall.

She now spends her time between France and Amsterdam, devoting as much time to growing vegetables as to painting. She has an extensive archive of avant-garde material.

"My function as an 'undercover' in the arts is to discover and modify all universal experience to my own gusto."

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