October 5, 2018 - S.M.A.K. - Raoul De Keyser: oeuvre
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October 5, 2018

S.M.A.K.

Raoul De Keyser, Séjour, 2001. Collection Jin Sato. © Family Raoul De Keyser | SABAM Belgium 2018. Photo: Felix Tirry. Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp & David Zwirner, New York / London / Hong Kong & Wako Works of Art, Tokyo.

Raoul De Keyser
oeuvre
September 22, 2018–January 27, 2019

S.M.A.K.
Jan Hoetplein 1
9000 Ghent
Belgium
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 5:30pm–9:30am,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +32 9 323 60 01
info@smak.be

smak.be
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Raoul De Keyser
oeuvre
September 22, 2018–January 27, 2019

S.M.A.K.
Jan Hoetplein 1
9000 Ghent
Belgium
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 5:30pm–9:30am,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +32 9 323 60 01
info@smak.be

smak.be
Facebook

Raoul De Keyser (1930-2012, Deinze) is perceived as the discrete master among the Belgian painters of the last 50 years. As from his debut in 1964 De Keyser developed a unique, tactile body of work in which distinctions between, for instance, the figurative and the abstract dissolved in a poetic alliance with the artist’s everyday life. His practice emerged from the so-called Nieuwe Visie, a local variant of international Pop Art that was also influenced by literature.

Following his experiments with the fundamental elements of painting, including colour, stretcher and canvas, that were typical of the 1970s, De Keyser’s visual idiom opened up and became more fluent. This signalled the start of a steady growth in international success, one of the highlights being his participation in Documenta IX in 1992. The artist frequently painted over earlier work or revived it in different formats. This game of constantly looking both backwards and forwards is also apparent in his latest works. The title of the exhibition is an indication that, in a certain sense, each of De Keyser’s works includes the notion of a retrospective.

By unfolding De Keyser’s work both chronologically and thematically, oeuvre offers an insight into the artist’s method and his lifelong exploration of painting’s boundaries and possibilities. In one of the exhibition galleries, several periods are brought together as if in a network: from De Keyser’s first painting, Z.t. (Rand), from 1964, to his last canvas, Robben 2, from 2012. Certain constants in the oeuvre become evident in this cross-current in the exhibition. The setting for this room was designed by the architects Robbrecht and Daem, who have created several exhibition spaces for De Keyser’s work (e.g. Documenta IX) and also made changes to the living room of his house.

In addition to more than 100 paintings, a major ensemble of works on paper can also be seen; this is part of the gift the artist made to the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2008. In the documentary section of the exhibition, writer, lecturer and researcher Koen Brams presents a selection of 24 excerpts, including a long monographic film, from the Belgian television archives that were broadcasted between 1966 and 2010 and cover Raoul De Keyser’s artistic career.

Publication
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue, published by S.M.A.K. and Pinakothek der Moderne together with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig (Cologne) and Fonds Mercator (Brussels). This richly illustrated book contains the first comprehensive chronology of the artist’s life and work, which was created in collaboration with the Archives Raoul De Keyser at Ghent University. In addition to articles by the exhibition’s curators Martin Germann (S.M.A.K., Ghent) and Bernhart Schwenk (Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich), the book includes newly commissioned essays by Steven Jacobs (Ghent University) and Luk Lambrecht (Strombeek Cultural Centre) on the role of other media such as photography and paper in De Keyser’s work. The catalogue also contains a letter to the artist from Philippe Van Cauteren, the artistic director of S.M.A.K., as well as a late poem by De Keyser’s long-time collaborator Roland Jooris, and short written contributions by seven international artists. Designed by Inge Ketelers, the book contains 240 pages and more than 200 illustrations and is published in three languages (English, German and Dutch).

This exhibition is a joint project with the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. The publication has received generous support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York.

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oeuvre
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