I was immediately drawn to the colours, composition and strangely menacing figurine, and assumed it would be a contemporary piece of a young artist.
It took us a while to decipher the autograph:
A little research on the worldwide web had a surprising outcome: this appears to be a screen print of the artist Shinkichi Tajiri, who drew and built figures like this in the sixties, calling them 'machines'.
Online we found this image:
image courtesy of vandommelvandam.nl
Isn't it very similar to our artwork?
Unfortunately we didn't find an image of the actual screen print we own online, and it appears to not be dated. However it is numbered:
To find a piece of this artist in the Netherlands is no coincidence. Being born in Los Angeles in 1923, Tajiri moved to Europe in the late forties and settled in the Netherlands in 1956. Tajiri lived in the south of the Netherlands until his death less than three years ago, in March 2009.
More information about the artist can be found at the official Shinkichi Tajiri website
For a short (Dutch) video about his life and work check the 'Schooltv beeldbank'.
We also found out that the municipality of Venlo (a city in the South of the Netherlands) is very seriously looking into setting up a museum in honour of Shinkichi Tajiri.
We'll definitely be paying this museum a visit as soon as it opens and bring our artwork, perhaps they can tell us more about this piece.
Meanwhile, if anybody can give us more information, don't hesitate to let me know!