Eugène Brands (Dutch, 1913–2002) was a painter and one of the founders of the CoBrA movement. Born in Amsterdam, Brands studied commercial art at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. After graduating, he spent several months working as a designer in various advertising firms, before dedicating himself to fine art full time. Early on, he created assemblages from found objects. He also started experimenting with paint and language. During World War II, he became influenced by the Surrealists’ concept of automatic writing, and created pictures in charcoal, ink, and gouache inspired by the cosmos, and developed an extensive collection of ritual objects and music from Africa. His work also betrayed a fascination with children’s drawings – a characteristic CoBrA feature, aided in Brands’ case by the fact that his daughter Eugenie was a toddler at the time. For many years he drew inspiration from this source, creating magnificent little paintings, most of them oil on paper.In the 60's, Brands gradually abandoned representational art in favour of abstraction. He began to paint large areas of colour “of an impenetrable, cotton wool-like substance,” as CoBrA historian Willemijn Stokvis writes. He continued doing so until well advanced in years, except that from 1993 onwards he concentrated on gouaches on paper, which he found less physically demanding.