Nic Jonk was born in Schermerhorn and grew up in Langedijk.
Between 1945 and 1953, he took evening classes at the school for applied arts in Amsterdam; figure drawing and sculpture with Wessel Couzijn.
Between 1950 and 1954, he studied at the Rijksnormaal School in Amsterdam, and between 1953 and 1956, he studied sculpture with Piet Esser at the national academy.
In 1965, he settled down in the village of Grootschermer, North Holland, with his wife and six children and began the Nick Jonk Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Nic Jonk was crazy about the female figure and his sculptures were inspired by predecessors such as Maillol, Renoir and Bourdelle. His work testifies to respect for life and has an unprecedented primal power. The preciseness and the eye for details and nuances are what make Nic Jonk's sculptures so wonderfully beautiful. The resonance comes from the shape, born from primal elements of life: water, earth, sun, women and whales.
The sculpture garden in Grootschermer contains giant pieces of sculpture that carelessly sputter a joy of life.
The sunlight creates lovely patterns of light and shadow on the polished bronze surfaces.
His graphics and oil paintings render him a master in portraying female beauty.
But also gracious animals, such as swans and horses, are depicted with simple lines in a colourful setting. The bright expressionist and monumental paintings evoke an association with painters such as Rubens, Renoir and Matisse.
His wide-ranging body of works consists of jewellery, ceramics and glass, steel and Perspex objects.
Nic Jonk passed away in 1994 and was particularly known for his bronze sculptures; about 250 of these sculptures have a permanent place in the Netherlands.
His sculptures can also be admired in Germany, France, Spain, the USA (California), Belgium and Italy (San Gimignano).
Sculptor and painter Nic Jong (1928-1994) is known for his plastic arts– round shaped sculptures cast in bronze. Together with Auke de Vries and Arthur Sproncken, he is one of the most important representatives of post-war Dutch sculpture art.
Schermer is a polder area in North Holland that is inseparably connected to the sculptor Nic Jonk. That is where his roots were, that is where he lived and opened a museum and sculpture garden for his work in 1965. A polder surrounded by threatening water strongly resembles Jonk and his persistence to withstand any opposition.
Nic was still a boy when he lost his father. His mother opened a grocery shop in Langedijk to support the family. As the oldest of the children he worked in the shop every day. The intention was for Nic to take over the shop one day, but he wanted to leave Langedijk to draw. To the great disgrace of the family, he moved to Amsterdam after the war. First he became a commercial artist to earn a living and filled the rest of his time with figure drawing at the school for applied arts. There he discovered sculpture for the first time. Nic Jonk’s teachers included Piet Esser and Wessel Couzijn. He also came in contact with the work of Henri Laurens and Aristide Maillol, which became his most important sources of inspiration. He soon found his own direction in flowing, smooth and abstract shapes. In his work, he wanted to express his own feeling of connection with primal man and used mythical stories as a framework for his sensual subjects: women, love and fertility. An important element is water, which reoccurs in the titles, aquatic animals such as dolphins, as well as the flowing shapes that characterise his work. He gained in-depth knowledge of certain subjects in order to better express emotions. In many ways, he was a classic sculptor from the nineteenth-century tradition with thorough knowledge of bronze casting.
In 1965, Nic Jonk settled in Grootschermer. By then he had been married for fifteen years to Greet Commandeur and was father to several children. There he bought—way above his budget—a beautiful bell-shaped house surrounded by lots of land. His plans were ambitious and he often felt guilty about the fact that the risks he took regularly led his large family to the verge of bankruptcy (almost all his children would later follow in his footsteps).
Though he did receive sufficient assignments, construction of the sculpture garden and casting the monumental sculptures were very costly. His health often stymied him, which is a great handicap for a sculptor. In the last years of his life, when sculpturing became too difficult, Nic Jonk also emerged as a talented painter. His ambition conquered everything.
After his passing away in 1994, his long-cherished plans to expand and renovate the museum and sculpture garden materialised. In 1995, the new museum was opened and is managed by his son Zeger. Also his wife Greet and the children exhibit their work there permanently.
I make my sculptures for everyone. Everyone can relate to my sculptures because they say something about me. When people understand my sculptures, they feel the soul that I have put in them. I hope that this feeling makes them happy.