Jan Cox (1919-1980) was born in The Hague and spent his youth in Amsterdam. Shortly before World War II, he moved to Antwerp with his parents and his brother, the composer Harry Cox, and studied History of Art at the State University of Ghent. After the war he settled down in Brussels to become a co-founder of the Jeune Peinture Belge (Young Belgian Painting). He had contacts with the members of Cobra and became close friends with Hugo Claus and Pierre Alechinsky. In 1956 Jan Cox left for the USA where he was appointed Head of the Painting Department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1974 he returned to Belgium and found a new home in the circle of the Gallery De Zwarte Panter (The Black Panther) in Antwerp.Jan Cox thought of his artistic calling as an artistic and a humanist project. His painting has a strong surreal and magical bias but he also created imposing expressionist images. He liked classical themes: the myth of Orpheus, Homer's Iliad, Judith and Holofernes, the Calvary. Jan Cox managed to merge autobiographical elements with the universal problems of human existence.
His paintings invite the beholder to reflect on the human condition, hope and the terrors of the modern world.