Born on 06.05.1921 in Heerlen, died on 19.06.1995 in The Hague. He was a self-thought painter. He worked as a coal miner working in the coal mines in Heerlen until the Second World War. He attended some drawing lessons at the art school in Heerlen. In 1943 he went hiding in order to avoid the force labor by the Nazis, by representing himself as a painter. After the war he organizes his first exhibition in Sittard in 1947. He moved in 1950 to the Hague where he followed an art education at the academy. Three years later he started to work as an art teacher. In the 1950s, Mengels is one of the main initiators of an important Dutch art group called “The New Hague School” mainly consisted of young painters influenced by the Paris modernists. In the 1960s he gets influenced by the Cubism and he starts experimenting with figurative and object art, sculptures and innovations in art techniques. He received numerous art prizes in the 1970s and 1980s.
Ber Mengels visited Macedonia in 1961 as a part of his Yugoslavian trip. This was the period where he slowly moved toward Cubism and figurative art. One example of his work is the oil painting entitled “Macedonian Girl” from 1961, which is in the collection of the author of this book