The first success

In December 1972, the Haarlem art critic Hein Steehouwer makes Johfra aware of his invented word meta-realism, which means literally 'next to realism'. With this term he would indicate that the spiritual world and the material world coexist. Furthermore, he talks about his idea to bring together a group of artists related to the meta-realism, and to organize a traveling exhibition with this group.

On May 20, 1973 the group The 7 Meta Realists is officially founded, consisting of the artist Frans Erkelens, Johan Hermsen, Johfra, Han Koning, Victor Linford, Ellen Lórien and Diana Vandenberg. For the upcoming group exhibitions, Jan Blok is appointed as manager. Hein Steehouwer will write a book to accompany the exhibitions.


Unio Mystica [Triptich] (1973)

On May 3, 1974 the first of seven group exhibitions takes place. This first large group exhibition is held in the Van Reekum Gallery in Apeldoorn. At the opening the presentation of the book The 7 Meta Realists takes place, but also the posters of the Zodiac Series are presented. The opening is a great success, there are over 500 visitors. The exhibition attracts a total of 9,000 visitors.

The next group exhibition takes place in June 1974 in the Prinsenhof Museum in Delft. The exhibition in Delft is even more successful than Apeldoorn, there are a total of 12,000 visitors. The following exhibits are held in the Artists Center in Bergen, Het Hofje van Staats in Haarlem, Pictura in Groningen, the Ark Gallery in Boxtel and Romi GoldMuntz Centre in Antwerp. The total number of visitors for the seven exhibitions is 48,000. The painter Han Koning quits, so the group only consists of six artists.


Les enfants de la lune (1969)

The Tower of Olympus
The Chemical Wedding (1968)

Hekate (1973)

In 1976, the artists are interviewed for a television program that will be broadcast on November 29, 1976 by TROS television with the title Profession: fine painter.

All exhibitions are highly successful and attract many visitors. In December, however, the first tensions emerge. There is disagreement between Hein Steehouwer and Jan Blok, the manager of the group. In 1976, the group falls apart. There is still a sort of relaunch in January arranged by Jan Blok, who founds Artim Gallery (The Hague). There are two books released with actually only images and some exhibitions will be hold. The Artim initiative is short-lived. Johfra's work will then be represented by Kamp Gallery (Amsterdam).

On March 24, 1977 Hein Steehouwer dies suddenly. With his death comes an end to the term meta-realism.