PERMANENT COLLECTION

MUST-SEE PIECES

Victor Servranckx room: on the right, the artist’s patinated-plaster sculpture Opus 1 – 1921.

PERMANENT COLLECTION

MUST-SEE PIECES

PERMANENT COLLECTION

MUST-SEE PIECES

Victor Servranckx room: on the right, the artist’s patinated-plaster sculpture Opus 1 – 1921.

EUGENE DELACROIX (1798-1863)

Fisherwoman on the Beach, c. 1843–45, oil on canvas, 45.5 × 37.5 cm

Delacroix was the greatest of the French Romantic painters, whoseuse of colour was influential in the development of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Born in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, near Paris, he trained under the famous academic painter Pierre-Narcisse Guérin and was an admirer of Rubens, Raphael, the Venetians and his English contemporaries. Delacroix took his inspiration from historical and contemporary events and also from literature: he was a great reader and the friend of famous writers. In 1825 he went to London where he became acquainted with various English painters of the time; English literature was also an important source of themes for the artist. In 1831 Delacroix was awarded the Legion of Honour; his most famous work, Liberty Leading the People (1830), was acquired by the French state and exhibited at that year’s Salon with enormous success. In 1832 he accompanied the French ambassador to Morocco and there discovered the Orient with its light and colours, an experience that would inspire him to paint exotic scenes throughout his life. In 1839 he travelled to the Netherlands and studied Rubens in depth. Over three decades he executed a large number of decorative cycles in official buildings and churches while continuing to send works to the Salon.

EUGENE DELACROIX (1798-1863)

Fisherwoman on the Beach, c. 1843–45, oil on canvas, 45.5 × 37.5 cm

Delacroix was the greatest of the French Romantic painters, whoseuse of colour was influential in the development of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Born in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, near Paris, he trained under the famous academic painter Pierre-Narcisse Guérin and was an admirer of Rubens, Raphael, the Venetians and his English contemporaries. Delacroix took his inspiration from historical and contemporary events and also from literature: he was a great reader and the friend of famous writers. In 1825 he went to London where he became acquainted with various English painters of the time; English literature was also an important source of themes for the artist. In 1831 Delacroix was awarded the Legion of Honour; his most famous work, Liberty Leading the People (1830), was acquired by the French state and exhibited at that year’s Salon with enormous success. In 1832 he accompanied the French ambassador to Morocco and there discovered the Orient with its light and colours, an experience that would inspire him to paint exotic scenes throughout his life. In 1839 he travelled to the Netherlands and studied Rubens in depth. Over three decades he executed a large number of decorative cycles in official buildings and churches while continuing to send works to the Salon.

HONORE DAUMIER (1808-1879)

Two Lawyers Conversing, 1860s, oil on board, 24 ×19 cm

Born in Marseilles, Daumier was a caricaturist, painter and sculptor known particularly for the drawings and engravings in which he satirised contemporary French politics and society. He trained under Alexandre Lenoir, a disciple of David. For 40 years he worked as a caricaturist in Paris, executing some 4,000 lithographs and numerous drawings. In 1832 King Louis Philippe I decided he had had enough of his satire and sent him to prison for a time. In 1848 he began painting in oil, working in a proto-Impressionist style that influenced his engraved work; he produced genre paintings that gave centre stage to the same social criticism found in his lithographs. In 1871 he became a member of the Paris Commune. In his later years he was unable to work, as he became almost blind.

HONORE DAUMIER (1808-1879)

Two Lawyers Conversing, 1860s, oil on board, 24 ×19 cm

Born in Marseilles, Daumier was a caricaturist, painter and sculptor known particularly for the drawings and engravings in which he satirised contemporary French politics and society. He trained under Alexandre Lenoir, a disciple of David. For 40 years he worked as a caricaturist in Paris, executing some 4,000 lithographs and numerous drawings. In 1832 King Louis Philippe I decided he had had enough of his satire and sent him to prison for a time. In 1848 he began painting in oil, working in a proto-Impressionist style that influenced his engraved work; he produced genre paintings that gave centre stage to the same social criticism found in his lithographs. In 1871 he became a member of the Paris Commune. In his later years he was unable to work, as he became almost blind.

HENRI EDMOND CROSS (1856-1910)

View of Gravelines (North), Seen from Grand-Fort-Philippe, c. 1891, oil on canvas, 60 × 75 cm

Henri Cross was born in Douai, France. The first time he exhibited at the Salon, in 1881, he changed his surname, which was Delacroix, to Cross (the English translation of croix), to avoid being confused with Eugène Delacroix. To begin with, he used only his given name, Henri, but then began using Henri-Edmond to avoid his being confused with the sculptor Henri Cross. He trained in Lille under Alphonse Colas. In 1884 he co-founded the Société des artistes indépendants. Influenced by Seurat and Signac, he adopted the pointillist technique. Early in his career, hefound himself within the circle of Manet and the Impressionists but, in 1891, he produced his first Neo-Impressionist work. Cross moved to the south of France where he painted seascapes and scenes of rural life imbued with a political outlook that was close to anarchism. In the mid-1890sSignac and Cross abandoned minute dots of colour in favour of the divisionist technique, which became important in the development of Fauvism. There are works by Cross in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid as well as in museums in Chicago, San Francisco and Cologne.

HENRI EDMOND CROSS (1856-1910)

View of Gravelines (North), Seen from Grand-Fort-Philippe, c. 1891, oil on canvas, 60 × 75 cm

Henri Cross was born in Douai, France. The first time he exhibited at the Salon, in 1881, he changed his surname, which was Delacroix, to Cross (the English translation of croix), to avoid being confused with Eugène Delacroix. To begin with, he used only his given name, Henri, but then began using Henri-Edmond to avoid his being confused with the sculptor Henri Cross. He trained in Lille under Alphonse Colas. In 1884 he co-founded the Société des artistes indépendants. Influenced by Seurat and Signac, he adopted the pointillist technique. Early in his career, hefound himself within the circle of Manet and the Impressionists but, in 1891, he produced his first Neo-Impressionist work. Cross moved to the south of France where he painted seascapes and scenes of rural life imbued with a political outlook that was close to anarchism. In the mid-1890sSignac and Cross abandoned minute dots of colour in favour of the divisionist technique, which became important in the development of Fauvism. There are works by Cross in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid as well as in museums in Chicago, San Francisco and Cologne.

WASSILY KANDINSKY (1866-1944)

A Street in Murnau, c. 1908, oil on chipboard, 57.7 × 75 cm

Born in Moscow, Kandinsky initially studied music and painting but went on to study law and economics at Moscow University, where he taught from 1892. He discovered Rembrandt, the Impressionists and Wagner, and decided to dedicate himself to painting. He moved to Munich and studied under the painter Anton Ažbe at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts. In 1902 he exhibited for the first time with the Berlin Secession and in 1904 at the Autumn Salon in Paris. He was inspired by the music of Arnold Schönberg and the writings of Wilhelm Worringer. With Franz Marc he founded the Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter; in 1911 he held his first exhibition in the Tannhäuser Gallery in Munich. By this time he was following the path towards pure abstraction. His artistic theories can be found in publications such as Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Plane. In 1914 Kandinsky moved to Switzerland and then to Moscow; in 1917 he became a member of the People’s Commissariat for Public Instruction. When Socialist Realism was imposed in Russia, he returned to Germany and taught at the Bauhaus, which closed when the Nazis came to power in 1933. Kandinsky’s work was considered ‘degenerate’, and he fled to Paris. Working in Neuilly-sur-Seine, he returned to the free abstraction of his early years. There are works by the artist in leading museums including MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Muséenational d’art moderne in Paris, the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

WASSILY KANDINSKY (1866-1944)

A Street in Murnau, c. 1908, oil on chipboard, 57.7 × 75 cm

Born in Moscow, Kandinsky initially studied music and painting but went on to study law and economics at Moscow University, where he taught from 1892. He discovered Rembrandt, the Impressionists and Wagner, and decided to dedicate himself to painting. He moved to Munich and studied under the painter Anton Ažbe at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts. In 1902 he exhibited for the first time with the Berlin Secession and in 1904 at the Autumn Salon in Paris. He was inspired by the music of Arnold Schönberg and the writings of Wilhelm Worringer. With Franz Marc he founded the Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter; in 1911 he held his first exhibition in the Tannhäuser Gallery in Munich. By this time he was following the path towards pure abstraction. His artistic theories can be found in publications such as Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Plane. In 1914 Kandinsky moved to Switzerland and then to Moscow; in 1917 he became a member of the People’s Commissariat for Public Instruction. When Socialist Realism was imposed in Russia, he returned to Germany and taught at the Bauhaus, which closed when the Nazis came to power in 1933. Kandinsky’s work was considered ‘degenerate’, and he fled to Paris. Working in Neuilly-sur-Seine, he returned to the free abstraction of his early years. There are works by the artist in leading museums including MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Muséenational d’art moderne in Paris, the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

KARL SCHMIDT-ROTTLUFF (1884-1976)

Untitled, 1910–11, textile, 198 × 142 cm

A painter and engraver known for his Expressionist landscapes and engravings, Schmidt-Rottluff was born in the German town of Rottluff in Saxony and began studying architecture in Dresden, where he met Kirchner and Heckel. In 1905 they formed the Expressionist group known as Die Brücke and held their first exhibition in Leipzig. Born Karl Schmidt, he added the name of his home town to his surname. Works such as Windy Day (1907) reveal the transition from his early style to the mature style of works such as Self-portrait with Monocle (1910), characterised by daringly dissonant colours. In 1911 he moved to Berlin. Many of his works of this period reveal his new interest in Cubism. When the Nazis came to power he was banned from painting and expelled from the Prussian Academy of Arts; in 1937 many of his paintings were withdrawn from museums, and some were included in the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937. In 1947 he was appointed professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. He was honoured with numerous retrospectives in Germany. In 1964 Rottluff became the leading promoter of the Brücke Museum in Berlin, inaugurated in 1967 with works donated by the artist himself and by other members of the group. Schmidt-Rottluff’swork can be seen in MoMA in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the Museum am Theaterplatz, Chemnitz.

KARL SCHMIDT-ROTTLUFF (1884-1976)

Untitled, 1910–11, textile, 198 × 142 cm

A painter and engraver known for his Expressionist landscapes and engravings, Schmidt-Rottluff was born in the German town of Rottluff in Saxony and began studying architecture in Dresden, where he met Kirchner and Heckel. In 1905 they formed the Expressionist group known as Die Brücke and held their first exhibition in Leipzig. Born Karl Schmidt, he added the name of his home town to his surname. Works such as Windy Day (1907) reveal the transition from his early style to the mature style of works such as Self-portrait with Monocle (1910), characterised by daringly dissonant colours. In 1911 he moved to Berlin. Many of his works of this period reveal his new interest in Cubism. When the Nazis came to power he was banned from painting and expelled from the Prussian Academy of Arts; in 1937 many of his paintings were withdrawn from museums, and some were included in the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937. In 1947 he was appointed professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. He was honoured with numerous retrospectives in Germany. In 1964 Rottluff became the leading promoter of the Brücke Museum in Berlin, inaugurated in 1967 with works donated by the artist himself and by other members of the group. Schmidt-Rottluff’swork can be seen in MoMA in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the Museum am Theaterplatz, Chemnitz.

GEORGES VANTOGERLOO (1886-1965)

Construction, c. 1917, teak wood, height 47 cm

Born in Antwerp, Georges Vantogerloo is the most celebrated Belgian pioneer of abstract painting and sculpture. He studied first at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and then at its namesakein Brussels. From 1914 to 1918 he lived in the Netherlands; in 1917 he exhibited at the Dutch–Belgian Art Circle. Vantogerloo went on to create purely geometric abstract works: although his grid-like compositions may appear arbitrary, they are in fact determined by mathematical relationships. He knew the Belgian Futurist Jules Schmalzigaug as well as Mondrian, Van der Leck and Van Doesburg. In 1924 he published his pamphlet ‘Art and its Future’. In 1931 he exhibited at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris and was elected vice president of the Abstraction-Création avant-garde association of artists. In 1936he took part in MoMA’s Cubism and Abstract Art exhibition. He exhibited with Bill and Antoine Pevsner at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1949. Vantogerloo celebrated his 75th birthday with a solo exhibition at the Suzanne Bollag gallery in Zurich, and in 1962 a comprehensive retrospective of his work was held at the new Marlborough Gallery in London; there have been many subsequent exhibitions. Vantogerloo’s work forms part of countless public collections: the Art Institute of Chicago, the Groeninge Museum in Bruges, the Kroِller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, the Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon, MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels, and Tate Modern in London.

GEORGES VANTOGERLOO (1886-1965)

Construction, c. 1917, teak wood, height 47 cm

Born in Antwerp, Georges Vantogerloo is the most celebrated Belgian pioneer of abstract painting and sculpture. He studied first at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and then at its namesakein Brussels. From 1914 to 1918 he lived in the Netherlands; in 1917 he exhibited at the Dutch–Belgian Art Circle. Vantogerloo went on to create purely geometric abstract works: although his grid-like compositions may appear arbitrary, they are in fact determined by mathematical relationships. He knew the Belgian Futurist Jules Schmalzigaug as well as Mondrian, Van der Leck and Van Doesburg. In 1924 he published his pamphlet ‘Art and its Future’. In 1931 he exhibited at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris and was elected vice president of the Abstraction-Création avant-garde association of artists. In 1936he took part in MoMA’s Cubism and Abstract Art exhibition. He exhibited with Bill and Antoine Pevsner at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1949. Vantogerloo celebrated his 75th birthday with a solo exhibition at the Suzanne Bollag gallery in Zurich, and in 1962 a comprehensive retrospective of his work was held at the new Marlborough Gallery in London; there have been many subsequent exhibitions. Vantogerloo’s work forms part of countless public collections: the Art Institute of Chicago, the Groeninge Museum in Bruges, the Kroِller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, the Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon, MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels, and Tate Modern in London.

MARTHE DONAS (1885-1967)

The Picture Book, c. 1918, oil on plaster and hardboard, 67.5 × 46.5 cm

Marthe Donas was born in Antwerp. At the suggestion of her friend Van Doesburg, she signed her works Tour d’Onasky and Tour Donas to avoid prejudice for being a female artist. According to Katherine Dreier, one of the founders of the legendary Société Anonyme, she was ‘Belgium’s first female abstract painter’. Donas trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp; in 1916 she studied the art of stained glass in Ireland. It was at the André Lhote exhibition in Paris that Donas was introduced to Cubism. Her first fully abstract and Post-Cubist works date from 1917. She was also a forerunner of Surrealism. In 1918 Donas joined the celebrated Section d’Or group of artists in Paris, which took its inspiration from Cubism and Orphism. Donas’s major contribution to modern art is that she was the first to drive Cubism in the direction of abstraction. In 1919 Van Doesburg published a number of articles on her in the journal De Stijl, placing her among the key exponents of modern art. In 1920 she exhibited at Herwarth Walden’s gallery Der Sturm, which was a centre for the avant-garde in Berlin; Walden and Katherine Dreier purchased all the works and, on the advice of Marcel Duchamp, put together an impressive collection of international avant-garde masterpieces which became the nucleus of the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven and MoMA in New York. She exhibited again at Der Sturm in 1923. The Brussels Palace of Fine Arts held a retrospective of her work in 1960. Donas’s work has been shown at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Von der Heydt Museum Wuppertal, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp, and Tate Modern, London. In 2016 the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent presented an important exhibition of her work in collaboration with Yale University Art Gallery and the Archipenko Foundation in Bearsville, New York.

MARTHE DONAS (1885-1967)

The Picture Book, c. 1918, oil on plaster and hardboard, 67.5 × 46.5 cm

Marthe Donas was born in Antwerp. At the suggestion of her friend Van Doesburg, she signed her works Tour d’Onasky and Tour Donas to avoid prejudice for being a female artist. According to Katherine Dreier, one of the founders of the legendary Société Anonyme, she was ‘Belgium’s first female abstract painter’. Donas trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp; in 1916 she studied the art of stained glass in Ireland. It was at the André Lhote exhibition in Paris that Donas was introduced to Cubism. Her first fully abstract and Post-Cubist works date from 1917. She was also a forerunner of Surrealism. In 1918 Donas joined the celebrated Section d’Or group of artists in Paris, which took its inspiration from Cubism and Orphism. Donas’s major contribution to modern art is that she was the first to drive Cubism in the direction of abstraction. In 1919 Van Doesburg published a number of articles on her in the journal De Stijl, placing her among the key exponents of modern art. In 1920 she exhibited at Herwarth Walden’s gallery Der Sturm, which was a centre for the avant-garde in Berlin; Walden and Katherine Dreier purchased all the works and, on the advice of Marcel Duchamp, put together an impressive collection of international avant-garde masterpieces which became the nucleus of the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven and MoMA in New York. She exhibited again at Der Sturm in 1923. The Brussels Palace of Fine Arts held a retrospective of her work in 1960. Donas’s work has been shown at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Von der Heydt Museum Wuppertal, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp, and Tate Modern, London. In 2016 the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent presented an important exhibition of her work in collaboration with Yale University Art Gallery and the Archipenko Foundation in Bearsville, New York.

GUSTAV WUNDERWALD (1882-1945)

Grunewaldstrasse, Berlin-Westend, 1918, oil on canvas, 61 × 71.5 cm

Born in Cologne, Wunderwald started out as an apprentice to Wilhelm Kuhn, and from 1899 to 1900 worked as a set painter for a number of theatres in Germany and abroad,most notably for the Opera in Berlin. After the First World War he settled in Berlin and painted scenes of life in the city’s neighbourhoods in the New Objectivity style. In 1927 he began exhibiting urban scenes and landscapes. However, when the Nazis came to power he was forced to abandon painting and survived by working as a film colourist. When the war came to an end, Wunderwald died from drinking contaminated waterin the chaos of 1945 Berlin and thus was never able to return to his art. There are works by this artist in the Berlinische Galerie, Neue Nationalgalerie and Stadtmuseum Berlin.

GUSTAV WUNDERWALD (1882-1945)

Grunewaldstrasse, Berlin-Westend, 1918, oil on canvas, 61 × 71.5 cm

Born in Cologne, Wunderwald started out as an apprentice to Wilhelm Kuhn, and from 1899 to 1900 worked as a set painter for a number of theatres in Germany and abroad,most notably for the Opera in Berlin. After the First World War he settled in Berlin and painted scenes of life in the city’s neighbourhoods in the New Objectivity style. In 1927 he began exhibiting urban scenes and landscapes. However, when the Nazis came to power he was forced to abandon painting and survived by working as a film colourist. When the war came to an end, Wunderwald died from drinking contaminated waterin the chaos of 1945 Berlin and thus was never able to return to his art. There are works by this artist in the Berlinische Galerie, Neue Nationalgalerie and Stadtmuseum Berlin.

PAUL JOOSTENS (1889-1960)

Dada object, c. 1920, assemblage in wood, 28 × 25.7 ×14.7 cm

The visual artist and writer Paul Joostens was born in Antwerp and studied in the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He created the first collages and Dada objects in 1916 – three years before Kurt Schwitters, to whom this achievement is usually attributed – and the first volumetric assemblages some seven years before Malevich began producing his arkhitektons. Thesebox-like assemblages, made from found materials, combine the formal austerity of Constructivism with the fantasy of Surrealism; he also produced vigorous Post-Cubist and Futurist paintings. His first solo exhibitions took place in 1917 in the Antwerp Centre for the Arts and in the legendary Georges Giroux gallery in Brussels. Like the Belgian Dadaists Paul Neuhuys and Willy Koninck, Joostens was an anarchist critical of the status quo. Together with Floris and Oscar Jespers and their friend the great avant-garde poet Paul van Ostaijen, he was a co-founder of De Bond ZonderGezegeld Papier. He also collaborated with Léonard on the art magazines Sélection, ÇairaandHet Overzicht. From 1927 and into the 1930s he distanced himself from the avant-garde and became something of a recluse. He was astrict Catholic, and it was during this period that he created his ‘Gothic’ style – inspired by the Flemish Primitives – producing paintings imbued with religious mysticism and pubescent eroticism. In 1935 he produced a magnificent series of photomontages. By the outbreak of the Second World War his painting had become filled with hallucinatory and fantastical imagery. From 1946 until his death, his work was dominated by the female figure, sometimes in the form of the Virgin, sometimes in the form of the prostitutes of Antwerp’s working-class districts. There are works by Joostens in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels and the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, among others. His work has been exhibited at the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden and Tate Modern in London. The most recent retrospective of his work was held in 2014 at Mu.ZEE, Ostend. The Musée national d’art moderne dedicated an important chapter to Joostens in its 2006 Dada exhibition catalogue.

PAUL JOOSTENS (1889-1960)

Dada object, c. 1920, assemblage in wood, 28 × 25.7 ×14.7 cm

The visual artist and writer Paul Joostens was born in Antwerp and studied in the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He created the first collages and Dada objects in 1916 – three years before Kurt Schwitters, to whom this achievement is usually attributed – and the first volumetric assemblages some seven years before Malevich began producing his arkhitektons. Thesebox-like assemblages, made from found materials, combine the formal austerity of Constructivism with the fantasy of Surrealism; he also produced vigorous Post-Cubist and Futurist paintings. His first solo exhibitions took place in 1917 in the Antwerp Centre for the Arts and in the legendary Georges Giroux gallery in Brussels. Like the Belgian Dadaists Paul Neuhuys and Willy Koninck, Joostens was an anarchist critical of the status quo. Together with Floris and Oscar Jespers and their friend the great avant-garde poet Paul van Ostaijen, he was a co-founder of De Bond ZonderGezegeld Papier. He also collaborated with Léonard on the art magazines Sélection, ÇairaandHet Overzicht. From 1927 and into the 1930s he distanced himself from the avant-garde and became something of a recluse. He was astrict Catholic, and it was during this period that he created his ‘Gothic’ style – inspired by the Flemish Primitives – producing paintings imbued with religious mysticism and pubescent eroticism. In 1935 he produced a magnificent series of photomontages. By the outbreak of the Second World War his painting had become filled with hallucinatory and fantastical imagery. From 1946 until his death, his work was dominated by the female figure, sometimes in the form of the Virgin, sometimes in the form of the prostitutes of Antwerp’s working-class districts. There are works by Joostens in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels and the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, among others. His work has been exhibited at the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden and Tate Modern in London. The most recent retrospective of his work was held in 2014 at Mu.ZEE, Ostend. The Musée national d’art moderne dedicated an important chapter to Joostens in its 2006 Dada exhibition catalogue.

Edmund Kesting (1892-1970)

Entanglements, 1920–25, mixed media assemblage, 36.2 × 36.2 cm

Born in Dresden, Edmund Kesting was a photographer, painter and art teacher. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Dresden before serving as a soldier in the First World War. After the war he continued his training with Richard Müller and Otto Gussmann. In 1923 he held the first exhibition of his images at the historic Der Sturm gallery. Living in Berlin he forged connections with the city’s avant-garde and used experimental techniques; his work was included by the Nazis in their Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. After the Second World War he joined a group of artists known as der ruf–befreite Kunst. He participated in the polemic between Socialist Realism and formalism that took place in the German Democratic Republic; his work was not exhibited until 1949. In 1967 he taught at the Academy of Cinema and Television in Potsdam.

Edmund Kesting (1892-1970)

Entanglements, 1920–25, mixed media assemblage, 36.2 × 36.2 cm

Born in Dresden, Edmund Kesting was a photographer, painter and art teacher. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Dresden before serving as a soldier in the First World War. After the war he continued his training with Richard Müller and Otto Gussmann. In 1923 he held the first exhibition of his images at the historic Der Sturm gallery. Living in Berlin he forged connections with the city’s avant-garde and used experimental techniques; his work was included by the Nazis in their Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. After the Second World War he joined a group of artists known as der ruf–befreite Kunst. He participated in the polemic between Socialist Realism and formalism that took place in the German Democratic Republic; his work was not exhibited until 1949. In 1967 he taught at the Academy of Cinema and Television in Potsdam.

Victor Servranckx (1897-1965)

Opus 1 – 1921, patinated plaster, 40.5 × 27.5 × 28 cm

One of the leading figures of the Belgian avant-garde, Victor Servranckx was born in Diegem, Belgium, and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, graduating in 1917 with the highest honours. During his time there he met Maes, Flouquet, Baugniet and Magritte. Between 1917 and 1919 Servranckx worked in a Symbolist style. From 1917 he took part in various group exhibitions; in 1918, together with Magritte, he worked in the field of applied arts as a designer for the Peters-Lacroix wallpaper company, an experience that led him to make the transition from Fauvism to geometric abstraction. In 1920 he joined the Plastique Pure movement. In 1922 Servranckx co-founded the 7 Arts magazine and, with Magritte, drew up the manifesto ‘Art pur. Défense de l’estéthique’, influenced by Le Corbusier, Ozenfant and the Cubist theories of Reverdy. Inspired by Baumeister and the Purists, he abandoned figurative art in favour of abstraction, evoking the world of machines and technology in a geometric form. In 1918 he exhibited his work for the first time at the L’EffortModerne gallery, which had been a meeting place for Cubists since the First World War; there he met Marinetti, Van Doesburg, Léger and Duchamp. In 1926, with the help ofMarcel Duchamp, he took part in exhibitions organised by Katherine Dreier’s Société Anonyme in the United Statesand was invited by Moholy-Nagy to teach at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, an offer he rejected. Servranckx was awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. In 1926 he produced the first ‘surrealist’ and ‘organic’ abstract works, ahead of Max Ernst. In 1928 he exhibited at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin. Servranckx represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1954. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Brussels Palace of Fine Arts. There are works by Servranckx in MoMA in New York, the Berardo Collection in Lisbon, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the Fine Arts Museum Ghent, the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels. His paintings, sculptures and works on paper have been exhibited in museums including the Museum De Lakenhalin Leiden and Tate Modern in London.

Victor Servranckx (1897-1965)

Opus 1 – 1921, patinated plaster, 40.5 × 27.5 × 28 cm

One of the leading figures of the Belgian avant-garde, Victor Servranckx was born in Diegem, Belgium, and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, graduating in 1917 with the highest honours. During his time there he met Maes, Flouquet, Baugniet and Magritte. Between 1917 and 1919 Servranckx worked in a Symbolist style. From 1917 he took part in various group exhibitions; in 1918, together with Magritte, he worked in the field of applied arts as a designer for the Peters-Lacroix wallpaper company, an experience that led him to make the transition from Fauvism to geometric abstraction. In 1920 he joined the Plastique Pure movement. In 1922 Servranckx co-founded the 7 Arts magazine and, with Magritte, drew up the manifesto ‘Art pur. Défense de l’estéthique’, influenced by Le Corbusier, Ozenfant and the Cubist theories of Reverdy. Inspired by Baumeister and the Purists, he abandoned figurative art in favour of abstraction, evoking the world of machines and technology in a geometric form. In 1918 he exhibited his work for the first time at the L’EffortModerne gallery, which had been a meeting place for Cubists since the First World War; there he met Marinetti, Van Doesburg, Léger and Duchamp. In 1926, with the help ofMarcel Duchamp, he took part in exhibitions organised by Katherine Dreier’s Société Anonyme in the United Statesand was invited by Moholy-Nagy to teach at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, an offer he rejected. Servranckx was awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. In 1926 he produced the first ‘surrealist’ and ‘organic’ abstract works, ahead of Max Ernst. In 1928 he exhibited at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin. Servranckx represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1954. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Brussels Palace of Fine Arts. There are works by Servranckx in MoMA in New York, the Berardo Collection in Lisbon, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the Fine Arts Museum Ghent, the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels. His paintings, sculptures and works on paper have been exhibited in museums including the Museum De Lakenhalin Leiden and Tate Modern in London.

Karel Maes (1900-1974)

Untitled, 1922, gouache on paper, 39.5 × 28.5 cm

Born in Mol, Belgium, Maes was a painter and applied arts designer who belonged to the first generation of Belgian abstract artists. He attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels where he met Flouquet, Magritte and Servranckx. After the war he experimented with Neo-Impressionism, Futurism and Post-Cubism and soon rejected figurative art in favour of a geometric and biomorphic approach. In 1920 he joined the Centre d’Art avant-garde group in Antwerp. That year he also took part in the International Modern Art Exhibition in Geneva with Cockx, Magritte and Peeters. In 1923 he exhibited at the Les Arts Belges d’Esprit Nouveau show at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels and in 1925 at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts in Monza. In 1922Maes was the only Belgian to sign the De Stijl manifesto. He co-founded the revolutionary 7 Arts group. In 1927an article in De Stijl magazine described his work as ‘pure plastic, a categorically concrete art, an extreme evolution of Cubism’. During this period Maes was teaching at the Bauhaus. Retrospectives of his work were held in Antwerp in 1992 and Brussels in 2007. There are works by him in the Modern Architecture Archives of Brussels, MoMA in New York, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp and the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, in the Museum De Lakenhalin Leiden, Tate Modern in London and many other museums.

Karel Maes (1900-1974)

Untitled, 1922, gouache on paper, 39.5 × 28.5 cm

Born in Mol, Belgium, Maes was a painter and applied arts designer who belonged to the first generation of Belgian abstract artists. He attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels where he met Flouquet, Magritte and Servranckx. After the war he experimented with Neo-Impressionism, Futurism and Post-Cubism and soon rejected figurative art in favour of a geometric and biomorphic approach. In 1920 he joined the Centre d’Art avant-garde group in Antwerp. That year he also took part in the International Modern Art Exhibition in Geneva with Cockx, Magritte and Peeters. In 1923 he exhibited at the Les Arts Belges d’Esprit Nouveau show at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels and in 1925 at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts in Monza. In 1922Maes was the only Belgian to sign the De Stijl manifesto. He co-founded the revolutionary 7 Arts group. In 1927an article in De Stijl magazine described his work as ‘pure plastic, a categorically concrete art, an extreme evolution of Cubism’. During this period Maes was teaching at the Bauhaus. Retrospectives of his work were held in Antwerp in 1992 and Brussels in 2007. There are works by him in the Modern Architecture Archives of Brussels, MoMA in New York, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp and the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, in the Museum De Lakenhalin Leiden, Tate Modern in London and many other museums.

Jozef Peeters (1895-1960)

Untitled c. 1923, painted cement, height 43 cm

A painter, graphic artist and designer, Jozef Peeters was born in Antwerp. Along with Donas, Eemans, Flouquet, Léonard, Maes, Servranckx and Vantogerloo he was part of Belgium’s first group of abstract artists. In 1913 he entered Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, although what interested him mostwas personal experimentation. By 1914 he was already painting landscapes and portraits in the Luminist style. Between 1915 and 1917, inspired by theosophy, he moved closer to Symbolism. In 1918 he met Marinetti and became part of the Futurist movement. With Van Dooren and Cockx, Peeters founded the Art Moderne group in Antwerp; the group established international connections, for example with the Der Sturm gallery – a centre for the avant-garde in Berlin – and organised three art conferences accompanied by exhibitions. Peeters exhibited his first abstract painting in 1920. He took part in international art shows includingin Geneva in 1921 and in Budapest in 1924. He collaborated on avant-garde magazines like Het Overzicht, which he had co-founded in 1921, and in 1925 on De Driehoek, which supported Constructivism. There are works by Peeters in the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels. His work has been exhibited in museums all over the world, including the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden and Tate Modern in London.

Jozef Peeters (1895-1960)

Untitled c. 1923, painted cement, height 43 cm

A painter, graphic artist and designer, Jozef Peeters was born in Antwerp. Along with Donas, Eemans, Flouquet, Léonard, Maes, Servranckx and Vantogerloo he was part of Belgium’s first group of abstract artists. In 1913 he entered Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, although what interested him mostwas personal experimentation. By 1914 he was already painting landscapes and portraits in the Luminist style. Between 1915 and 1917, inspired by theosophy, he moved closer to Symbolism. In 1918 he met Marinetti and became part of the Futurist movement. With Van Dooren and Cockx, Peeters founded the Art Moderne group in Antwerp; the group established international connections, for example with the Der Sturm gallery – a centre for the avant-garde in Berlin – and organised three art conferences accompanied by exhibitions. Peeters exhibited his first abstract painting in 1920. He took part in international art shows includingin Geneva in 1921 and in Budapest in 1924. He collaborated on avant-garde magazines like Het Overzicht, which he had co-founded in 1921, and in 1925 on De Driehoek, which supported Constructivism. There are works by Peeters in the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp and Brussels. His work has been exhibited in museums all over the world, including the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden and Tate Modern in London.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946)

Construction, 1923, stainless steel, plexiglass and painted vulcanised fibre, 79.8 × 73.5 × 42 cm

A painter, photographer and professor of art, László Moholy-Nagy was born in Bácsborsód, Hungary. His vision of a non-figurative art consisting of purely visual principles (colour, texture, light and balance of form) was extremely influential in the fine and applied arts of the first half of the 20th century. He studied law in Budapest and published Cubist-inspired woodcuts in the avant-garde magazine Ma. Moholy-Nagy moved to Berlin in 1921; from 1923 to 1929 he ran the metal workshop at the famous avant-garde design school the Bauhaus. As a painter and photographer he worked mainly with light; his ‘photograms’ were composed directly on to film and his ‘light modulators’ – oil paintings on transparent and polished surfaces – included moving light effects. In 1935, fleeing Nazi Germany, Moholy-Nagy went to London and in 1937 he moved to Chicago, where he set up and ran the New Bauhaus.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946)

Construction, 1923, stainless steel, plexiglass and painted vulcanised fibre, 79.8 × 73.5 × 42 cm

A painter, photographer and professor of art, László Moholy-Nagy was born in Bácsborsód, Hungary. His vision of a non-figurative art consisting of purely visual principles (colour, texture, light and balance of form) was extremely influential in the fine and applied arts of the first half of the 20th century. He studied law in Budapest and published Cubist-inspired woodcuts in the avant-garde magazine Ma. Moholy-Nagy moved to Berlin in 1921; from 1923 to 1929 he ran the metal workshop at the famous avant-garde design school the Bauhaus. As a painter and photographer he worked mainly with light; his ‘photograms’ were composed directly on to film and his ‘light modulators’ – oil paintings on transparent and polished surfaces – included moving light effects. In 1935, fleeing Nazi Germany, Moholy-Nagy went to London and in 1937 he moved to Chicago, where he set up and ran the New Bauhaus.

Max Ernst (1891-1976)

Sade-Sit, c. 1923, oil on canvas, 81 ×54 cm

Born in Brühl, Germany, Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and one of the leading proponents of irrationality in art and the creator of Veristic Surrealism. As a young man he was interested in psychiatry and philosophy. After serving in the German army during the First World War, he took up Dadaism and, with Jean Arp, formed a Dada group in Cologne. His Dadaist collages and photomontages combine a feeling of mystery with a sense of humour. In 1922 he moved to Paris and two years later became one of the founder members of the Surrealist group. In 1925 he began using Surrealist techniques such as frottage and decalcomania. Ernst worked as an actor in Buñuel’s film Age of Gold (1930). After 1934 his activity became increasingly centred on sculpture and he began using improvised techniques. In 1936 Ernst took part in the International Surrealist Exhibition in London, and in 1937 he held his first solo exhibition in the city’s Mayor Gallery in Mayfair. With the outbreak of the Second World War he moved to the United States, where he married his third wife, the collector and art patron Peggy Guggenheim. When he returned to France in 1949, his work became less experimental; his late paintings show nothing of the ‘peaceful violence’ of his wartime output. Notable exhibitions of his work include Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism (MoMA, 1993) and retrospectives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Albertina in Vienna (2013). There are works by Ernst in museums in Brussels, Chicago and San Francisco, in the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, all in New York, the Museum Boijmansin Rotterdam, the Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums in Madrid, in Tel Aviv, in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Tate Modern in London and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Max Ernst (1891-1976)

Sade-Sit, c. 1923, oil on canvas, 81 ×54 cm

Born in Brühl, Germany, Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and one of the leading proponents of irrationality in art and the creator of Veristic Surrealism. As a young man he was interested in psychiatry and philosophy. After serving in the German army during the First World War, he took up Dadaism and, with Jean Arp, formed a Dada group in Cologne. His Dadaist collages and photomontages combine a feeling of mystery with a sense of humour. In 1922 he moved to Paris and two years later became one of the founder members of the Surrealist group. In 1925 he began using Surrealist techniques such as frottage and decalcomania. Ernst worked as an actor in Buñuel’s film Age of Gold (1930). After 1934 his activity became increasingly centred on sculpture and he began using improvised techniques. In 1936 Ernst took part in the International Surrealist Exhibition in London, and in 1937 he held his first solo exhibition in the city’s Mayor Gallery in Mayfair. With the outbreak of the Second World War he moved to the United States, where he married his third wife, the collector and art patron Peggy Guggenheim. When he returned to France in 1949, his work became less experimental; his late paintings show nothing of the ‘peaceful violence’ of his wartime output. Notable exhibitions of his work include Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism (MoMA, 1993) and retrospectives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Albertina in Vienna (2013). There are works by Ernst in museums in Brussels, Chicago and San Francisco, in the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, all in New York, the Museum Boijmansin Rotterdam, the Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums in Madrid, in Tel Aviv, in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Tate Modern in London and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Pierre-Louis Flouquet (1900-1967)

Femininity, 1923, oil on canvas, 150 × 100 cm

Flouquet was born in Paris, butin 1910 his family moved to Brussels and it was there that he attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied with Constant Montald and Gisbert Combaz. Flouquet was associated with the avant-garde art movements of Antwerp, Berlin, Brussels, Lausanne and Paris, and shared a studio with Magritte in Brussels. In modernist circles he was known for his abstract pieces and biomorphic and geometric works. In 1921 he took part in the International Exhibition of Modern Art in Geneva and, with Magritte, in an exhibition at the Centre d’Art in Brussels. He was a co-founder of the avant-garde 7 Arts group and was responsible for the painting section of the group’s magazine, for which he also provided illustrations. With Eisenstein, Ernst, Gropius, Schlemmer, Servranckx and others, Flouquet became a regular guest at the Maison des Artistes gatherings held by Baroness Hélène de Mandrot at her home the Château de La Sarraz near Lausanne; it was here, in 1929, that the First International Congress of Modern Architecture and the First Congress of Independent Cinema were held, along with many more early 20th-century revolutionary artistic events. Hélène de Mandrot, like Katherine Dreier and Gertrude Stein, was one of the pillars of modern art. In 1925, with Gailliard, Flouquet founded the L’Assaut group and arranged exhibitions under the aegis of this group. He became leader of the Plastique Pure movement and exhibited regularly abroad, in Buenos Aires, Chicago, Leipzig, Madrid, Monza, New York, Paris, Philadelphia and Zurich. Flouquet held solo exhibitions in 1925 at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, and in 1927 at the Deutscher Werkbund in Stuttgart at the invitation of Henry van de Velde, one of its founders. He designed numerous covers for the revolutionary art magazine Der Sturm. His work is represented in many museums including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Museum of Grenoble; his work has been shown at the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and Tate Modern in London, among others.

Pierre-Louis Flouquet (1900-1967)

Femininity, 1923, oil on canvas, 150 × 100 cm

Flouquet was born in Paris, butin 1910 his family moved to Brussels and it was there that he attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied with Constant Montald and Gisbert Combaz. Flouquet was associated with the avant-garde art movements of Antwerp, Berlin, Brussels, Lausanne and Paris, and shared a studio with Magritte in Brussels. In modernist circles he was known for his abstract pieces and biomorphic and geometric works. In 1921 he took part in the International Exhibition of Modern Art in Geneva and, with Magritte, in an exhibition at the Centre d’Art in Brussels. He was a co-founder of the avant-garde 7 Arts group and was responsible for the painting section of the group’s magazine, for which he also provided illustrations. With Eisenstein, Ernst, Gropius, Schlemmer, Servranckx and others, Flouquet became a regular guest at the Maison des Artistes gatherings held by Baroness Hélène de Mandrot at her home the Château de La Sarraz near Lausanne; it was here, in 1929, that the First International Congress of Modern Architecture and the First Congress of Independent Cinema were held, along with many more early 20th-century revolutionary artistic events. Hélène de Mandrot, like Katherine Dreier and Gertrude Stein, was one of the pillars of modern art. In 1925, with Gailliard, Flouquet founded the L’Assaut group and arranged exhibitions under the aegis of this group. He became leader of the Plastique Pure movement and exhibited regularly abroad, in Buenos Aires, Chicago, Leipzig, Madrid, Monza, New York, Paris, Philadelphia and Zurich. Flouquet held solo exhibitions in 1925 at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, and in 1927 at the Deutscher Werkbund in Stuttgart at the invitation of Henry van de Velde, one of its founders. He designed numerous covers for the revolutionary art magazine Der Sturm. His work is represented in many museums including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Museum of Grenoble; his work has been shown at the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and Tate Modern in London, among others.

Oskar Schlemmer (1888-1943)

Grotesque III, 1923-32, afzelia wood, inlaid and applied ivory, steel rod, twobrass nails, height 57 cm

A painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer at the Bauhaus, Schlemmer is particularly known for his stage designs for the ballet. Born in Stuttgart, he studied at the city’s School of Applied Arts and the State Academy of Fine Arts with Christian Ladenberger and Friedrich von Keller and returned there after a period in Berlin. Schlemmer studied with Alfred Hölzel, a pioneer of abstraction. He moved increasingly towards the schematisation of figures as a figurative variant of Constructivism. In 1919 he attempted to reform the programme at the Stuttgart Academy and to have Paul Klee appointed there but was unsuccessful. He exhibited at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin and the Arnold gallery in Dresden. In 1920 Walter Gropius invited him to teach at the Bauhaus, where he ran the sculpture and mural painting workshop and later the theatre workshop. Schlemmer continued to teach in Dessau after the Bauhaus moved there in 1925, expounding his idea of total art. In 1922 his Triadic Ballet premiered, earning him international recognition; the name derives from the fact that the piece has three acts, three dancers and three colours; the costumes were based on geometric forms. It reflects his overriding interest in the human figure and his exploration of the figure in space. In 1929 Schlemmer taught at the Breslau Academy of Art and Applied Arts but it closed due to the economic crisis. In 1932 he taught in Berlin but was obliged to resign his post by the Nazis, who included him among the so-called ‘degenerate’ artists. He moved to Switzerland but subsequently returned to Germany, although he was not allowed to exercise his profession there. His final works (1942) are a series of windows showing interiors and people. There is work by Schlemmer in the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin, the Guggenheim Museum and MoMA in New York, in museums in Dallas, Chicago, Washington, DC, and San Francisco, and in the Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums in Madrid.

Oskar Schlemmer (1888-1943)

Grotesque III, 1923-32, afzelia wood, inlaid and applied ivory, steel rod, twobrass nails, height 57 cm

A painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer at the Bauhaus, Schlemmer is particularly known for his stage designs for the ballet. Born in Stuttgart, he studied at the city’s School of Applied Arts and the State Academy of Fine Arts with Christian Ladenberger and Friedrich von Keller and returned there after a period in Berlin. Schlemmer studied with Alfred Hölzel, a pioneer of abstraction. He moved increasingly towards the schematisation of figures as a figurative variant of Constructivism. In 1919 he attempted to reform the programme at the Stuttgart Academy and to have Paul Klee appointed there but was unsuccessful. He exhibited at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin and the Arnold gallery in Dresden. In 1920 Walter Gropius invited him to teach at the Bauhaus, where he ran the sculpture and mural painting workshop and later the theatre workshop. Schlemmer continued to teach in Dessau after the Bauhaus moved there in 1925, expounding his idea of total art. In 1922 his Triadic Ballet premiered, earning him international recognition; the name derives from the fact that the piece has three acts, three dancers and three colours; the costumes were based on geometric forms. It reflects his overriding interest in the human figure and his exploration of the figure in space. In 1929 Schlemmer taught at the Breslau Academy of Art and Applied Arts but it closed due to the economic crisis. In 1932 he taught in Berlin but was obliged to resign his post by the Nazis, who included him among the so-called ‘degenerate’ artists. He moved to Switzerland but subsequently returned to Germany, although he was not allowed to exercise his profession there. His final works (1942) are a series of windows showing interiors and people. There is work by Schlemmer in the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin, the Guggenheim Museum and MoMA in New York, in museums in Dallas, Chicago, Washington, DC, and San Francisco, and in the Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums in Madrid.

Gustave Miklos (1888-1967)

Untitled, c. 1924, lacquered ebony, height 80.5 cm

Miklos was born in Budapest, Hungary. From 1904 to 1906 he studied at the Hungarian Royal National School of Arts and Crafts under László Kimnach; he met the sculptor Joseph Csaky. In Paris he studied at the Académie de La Palette under Henri Le Fauconnier and became closely allied with Cubism. He joined the studio of Jean Metzinger and exhibited at the Paris Autumn Salon and at the exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, where he met Archipenko and Léger. He also worked in illustration and in poster and furniture design. During the First World War he served in Bizerte in Tunisia and in Thessaloniki in Greece; inspired by these new landscapes, he continued drawing and painting brightly coloured watercolours. In 1919 he exhibited at the Artists of the Orient exhibition in Athens. In 1922 he obtained French citizenship. Jacques Doucet, a collector and jewellery designer, asked Miklos to assist with the décor of his house in Neuilly. In 1923 he exhibited as part of a group exhibition at Léon Rosenberg’s L’Effort Moderne gallery and in 1925 at the International Exhibition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts. By this time he was working in the Art Deco style. In 1928 he exhibited at the Galerie de la Renaissance. In 1930 he joined the French Modern Artists Union and in 1939 moved to Oyonnax in eastern France where he gave art classes. Miklos eventually died there, a forgotten artist, but was rediscovered at various Art Deco exhibitions; there are works by the artist in many public and private collections.

Gustave Miklos (1888-1967)

Untitled, c. 1924, lacquered ebony, height 80.5 cm

Miklos was born in Budapest, Hungary. From 1904 to 1906 he studied at the Hungarian Royal National School of Arts and Crafts under László Kimnach; he met the sculptor Joseph Csaky. In Paris he studied at the Académie de La Palette under Henri Le Fauconnier and became closely allied with Cubism. He joined the studio of Jean Metzinger and exhibited at the Paris Autumn Salon and at the exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, where he met Archipenko and Léger. He also worked in illustration and in poster and furniture design. During the First World War he served in Bizerte in Tunisia and in Thessaloniki in Greece; inspired by these new landscapes, he continued drawing and painting brightly coloured watercolours. In 1919 he exhibited at the Artists of the Orient exhibition in Athens. In 1922 he obtained French citizenship. Jacques Doucet, a collector and jewellery designer, asked Miklos to assist with the décor of his house in Neuilly. In 1923 he exhibited as part of a group exhibition at Léon Rosenberg’s L’Effort Moderne gallery and in 1925 at the International Exhibition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts. By this time he was working in the Art Deco style. In 1928 he exhibited at the Galerie de la Renaissance. In 1930 he joined the French Modern Artists Union and in 1939 moved to Oyonnax in eastern France where he gave art classes. Miklos eventually died there, a forgotten artist, but was rediscovered at various Art Deco exhibitions; there are works by the artist in many public and private collections.

Marc Eemans (1907-1998)

Lady Removing her Finery, 1927, oil on canvas, 147 × 114 cm

A Belgian painter, poet and art critic, Marc Eemans was born in Termonde, Belgium. While studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, he met Victor Servranckx who taught him the principles of non-figurative art. At the age of 15, he joined the avant-garde Belgian group 7 Arts. His first and revolutionary works were Constructivist assemblages and meticulously balanced non-figurative paintings in solemn, subtle colour harmonies that prefigured those of Mark Rothko. In 1925 he began to distance himself from non-figurative art and became Belgium’s first Surrealist painter, ahead of Magritte. Exhibiting with Salvador Dalí, he also forged friendships with members of the Belgian Surrealist group the Société du Mystère. His paintings of this period took inspiration from the spiritual qualities of the Pre-Raphaelites, the German Romantics and the Symbolists. In 1939 Eemans exhibited as part of the Independent Artists show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Since then, his work has been shown widely, including at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. As a poet and writer, he collaborated on the Surrealist magazine Distances, run from Paris by Camille Goemans and the first publication to draw attention to Dalí’s work. Once at the very heart of ideological debates within Surrealism, Eemans eventually decided to distance himself from the movement and develop his work in isolation, though he maintained his friendship with Goemans, Magritte and Mesens. His work is found in public collections including those of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp.

Marc Eemans (1907-1998)

Lady Removing her Finery, 1927, oil on canvas, 147 × 114 cm

A Belgian painter, poet and art critic, Marc Eemans was born in Termonde, Belgium. While studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, he met Victor Servranckx who taught him the principles of non-figurative art. At the age of 15, he joined the avant-garde Belgian group 7 Arts. His first and revolutionary works were Constructivist assemblages and meticulously balanced non-figurative paintings in solemn, subtle colour harmonies that prefigured those of Mark Rothko. In 1925 he began to distance himself from non-figurative art and became Belgium’s first Surrealist painter, ahead of Magritte. Exhibiting with Salvador Dalí, he also forged friendships with members of the Belgian Surrealist group the Société du Mystère. His paintings of this period took inspiration from the spiritual qualities of the Pre-Raphaelites, the German Romantics and the Symbolists. In 1939 Eemans exhibited as part of the Independent Artists show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Since then, his work has been shown widely, including at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. As a poet and writer, he collaborated on the Surrealist magazine Distances, run from Paris by Camille Goemans and the first publication to draw attention to Dalí’s work. Once at the very heart of ideological debates within Surrealism, Eemans eventually decided to distance himself from the movement and develop his work in isolation, though he maintained his friendship with Goemans, Magritte and Mesens. His work is found in public collections including those of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and Antwerp.

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)

Untitled, 1929, painted wood, height 42 cm

Born in Hanover, Germany, Kurt Schwitters studied at the Academies of Fine Arts in Dresden and Berlin and exhibited his first Cubo-Futurist works at the Der Sturm gallery. Attracted by the emerging Dadaism and rejected by the Berlin art circle, Schwitters formed his own variant in Hanover. He began creating compositions using discarded everyday objects; his poems, too, are a mixture of printed materials. He referred to all his artistic activities – and later also to his day-to-day activities and to himself – as Merz, a meaningless word derived from the German Kommerz (commerce). In 1922 he came under the influence of De Stijl and drew closer to Constructivism. In 1927, together with Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, he founded Die Abstrakten Hannover. In 1930 he participated in the activities of the Cercle et Carré group and in 1932 joined the Abstraction-Création art group. In 1937 Schwitters moved to Norway but, following the Nazi invasion of that country, escaped to England. In his later years he combined Merz with a return to figurative art. In 1994 the Kurt Schwitters Archive was created at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover as an international research centre. There are works by Schwitters in some of the world’s leading contemporary art museums, including MoMA in New York and Tate Modernin London.

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)

Untitled, 1929, painted wood, height 42 cm

Born in Hanover, Germany, Kurt Schwitters studied at the Academies of Fine Arts in Dresden and Berlin and exhibited his first Cubo-Futurist works at the Der Sturm gallery. Attracted by the emerging Dadaism and rejected by the Berlin art circle, Schwitters formed his own variant in Hanover. He began creating compositions using discarded everyday objects; his poems, too, are a mixture of printed materials. He referred to all his artistic activities – and later also to his day-to-day activities and to himself – as Merz, a meaningless word derived from the German Kommerz (commerce). In 1922 he came under the influence of De Stijl and drew closer to Constructivism. In 1927, together with Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, he founded Die Abstrakten Hannover. In 1930 he participated in the activities of the Cercle et Carré group and in 1932 joined the Abstraction-Création art group. In 1937 Schwitters moved to Norway but, following the Nazi invasion of that country, escaped to England. In his later years he combined Merz with a return to figurative art. In 1994 the Kurt Schwitters Archive was created at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover as an international research centre. There are works by Schwitters in some of the world’s leading contemporary art museums, including MoMA in New York and Tate Modernin London.

Jo Delahaut (1911-1992)

Parcours, 1954, oil on canvas, 46.5 × 61 cm

Born in Vottem, Belgium, Jo Delahaut was a prominent figure in Belgian geometric abstraction. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts ofLiège and received a doctorate in the History of Art in 1939. In 1940 he began painting Expressionist figures but, influenced by Auguste Herbin, evolved towards abstraction, creating works of static geometryin which colour plays a key role. His work then became more simplified and he adopted a more minimalist style that sought to stimulate the intellect. In his own words, ‘signs, colours, rhythms and their infinite combinations are mechanisms that mysteriously touch the unexplained springs of consciousness’. In 1942 he joined the Young Belgian Painting group, and in 1946 he became a member of the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris. In 1952, together with Pol Bury, Jean Milo, Georges Collignon, Albert Saverys and others, he founded the Belgian Abstract Art group. Later he was behind the creation of Abstract Art-Shapes (1956) and Art Built (1960). In 1980 a retrospective of Delahaut’s work was held at the Museum of Walloon Art in Liège. He exhibited at the Wilhelm Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 1981 and at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels in 1982. In 1985 he took part in the São Paulo Art Biennial; other exhibitions of his work have been held at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Düren, and the Provincial Museum of Modern Art in Ostend (1989). In 1990 his last major exhibition was held at the Museum of Walloon Art in Liège.

Jo Delahaut (1911-1992)

Parcours, 1954, oil on canvas, 46.5 × 61 cm

Born in Vottem, Belgium, Jo Delahaut was a prominent figure in Belgian geometric abstraction. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts ofLiège and received a doctorate in the History of Art in 1939. In 1940 he began painting Expressionist figures but, influenced by Auguste Herbin, evolved towards abstraction, creating works of static geometryin which colour plays a key role. His work then became more simplified and he adopted a more minimalist style that sought to stimulate the intellect. In his own words, ‘signs, colours, rhythms and their infinite combinations are mechanisms that mysteriously touch the unexplained springs of consciousness’. In 1942 he joined the Young Belgian Painting group, and in 1946 he became a member of the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris. In 1952, together with Pol Bury, Jean Milo, Georges Collignon, Albert Saverys and others, he founded the Belgian Abstract Art group. Later he was behind the creation of Abstract Art-Shapes (1956) and Art Built (1960). In 1980 a retrospective of Delahaut’s work was held at the Museum of Walloon Art in Liège. He exhibited at the Wilhelm Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 1981 and at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels in 1982. In 1985 he took part in the São Paulo Art Biennial; other exhibitions of his work have been held at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Düren, and the Provincial Museum of Modern Art in Ostend (1989). In 1990 his last major exhibition was held at the Museum of Walloon Art in Liège.

Paul Manes (1948)

The Entry of Christ in New York, 1993-2006, oil on canvas, 231 × 445 cm

Born in Austin, Texas, Paul Manes graduated in Business Studies from Lamar University, Beaumont, and in Fine Arts from Hunter College, New York. Since 1985, the date of a group exhibition at the Kouros Gallery, he has shown his work in museums and galleries in the United States, Italy, France and Germany. Manes paints abstract and figurative works, making no distinction between them. Detached from the artistic trends of the day, he takes his inspiration from artists such as Goya, Bosch, Velázquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Cézanne, Pollock and Rauschenberg. ‘The present is connected with the past and becomes a projection into the future, where tradition meets with innovation and the world is unlocked, becoming liquid and gaseous, and forms transform into new forms,’ he asserts. After more than 30 years in New York, in 2014 he moved to Carbondale in Colorado. At present there are works by Manes in MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Art Museum of Southwest Texas. In 2016 his work was included in the Painting after Postmodernism: Belgium–USA exhibition at the Espace Vanderborght in Brussels, the Bishop’s Palace, Malaga, and the Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy.

Paul Manes (1948)

The Entry of Christ in New York, 1993-2006, oil on canvas, 231 × 445 cm

Born in Austin, Texas, Paul Manes graduated in Business Studies from Lamar University, Beaumont, and in Fine Arts from Hunter College, New York. Since 1985, the date of a group exhibition at the Kouros Gallery, he has shown his work in museums and galleries in the United States, Italy, France and Germany. Manes paints abstract and figurative works, making no distinction between them. Detached from the artistic trends of the day, he takes his inspiration from artists such as Goya, Bosch, Velázquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Cézanne, Pollock and Rauschenberg. ‘The present is connected with the past and becomes a projection into the future, where tradition meets with innovation and the world is unlocked, becoming liquid and gaseous, and forms transform into new forms,’ he asserts. After more than 30 years in New York, in 2014 he moved to Carbondale in Colorado. At present there are works by Manes in MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Art Museum of Southwest Texas. In 2016 his work was included in the Painting after Postmodernism: Belgium–USA exhibition at the Espace Vanderborght in Brussels, the Bishop’s Palace, Malaga, and the Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy.

Marc Maet (1955-2000)

Little Guernica or Friday Fish Day, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 200 ×200 cm

Born in Belgium, in Schoten, Flanders, Maet lived and worked in Ghent. His work has been divided into three periods: in the early 1980s it was close to Neue Wilde Expressionism; towards the end of that decade it followed dominant international trends; and in the 1990s it evolved into a vigorous and literary style rooted in the artistic heritage of Belgium. Together with Philippe Vandenberg, Fik van Gestel and others, Maet is considered as one of the leading exponents of New Painting in Belgium. From 1991 to 2000 his work was situated on the boundary between figurative and non-figurative art. In the tradition of Magritte, Maet ascribes an important role to words, with words and images of symbolic significance often appearing in his paintings.

Marc Maet (1955-2000)

Little Guernica or Friday Fish Day, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 200 ×200 cm

Born in Belgium, in Schoten, Flanders, Maet lived and worked in Ghent. His work has been divided into three periods: in the early 1980s it was close to Neue Wilde Expressionism; towards the end of that decade it followed dominant international trends; and in the 1990s it evolved into a vigorous and literary style rooted in the artistic heritage of Belgium. Together with Philippe Vandenberg, Fik van Gestel and others, Maet is considered as one of the leading exponents of New Painting in Belgium. From 1991 to 2000 his work was situated on the boundary between figurative and non-figurative art. In the tradition of Magritte, Maet ascribes an important role to words, with words and images of symbolic significance often appearing in his paintings.

Jan Vanriet (1948)

Salted Meat – Vive la Sociale!, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 × 550 cm

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Jan Vanriet studied at the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, combining painting with poetry. In 1968 he took part in writers’ protests against literary censorship in Belgium. In 1971 he became the youngest member of the editorial board of the political magazine De Nieuwe Maand. In 1972 he exhibited for the first time at the Zwarte Panter gallery, and after this Vanriet began his collaboration with the gallery owner Jan Lens (Lens Fine Arts). His books, published by Manteau, his literary collaborations and his designs for the covers of the literary magazine Revolver were interspersed with his exhibitions: art biennials in São Paulo, Venice and Seoul and at the Isy Brachot gallery in Brussels and 1082 in Paris, among others. In 1993, when Antwerp was European Capital of Culture, Vanriet held an important exhibition and painted the ceiling of the foyer of the restored Bourla Theatre. The Lippisches Landes museum in Detmold held an exhibition of his work entitled Transport (1994–2004), showing paintings partly inspired by the Second World War: his parents and other members of his family were part of the Resistance against the Nazi invasion and were arrested and deported to Mauthausen and Ravensbrück. In 2005 he travelled to Israel to install his triptych Nathan the Wise. In 2010 the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp invited Vanriet to ‘close’ the museum prior to its refurbishment and held the retrospective exhibition Closing Time in dialogue with classical artists such as Rubens, Van Eyck, Titian and Cranach; in 2012 Closed Doors became the inaugural exhibition of the Roberto Polo Gallery in Brussels. In 2013 Vanriet presented Losing Face, a series on the Jews deported from Belgium to Auschwitz; it was shown at the Kazerne Museum in Mechelen and later at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow. Vanriet has works in, among other places, the National Museum of Gdansk, the British Museum in London, the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw, the New Art Gallery Walsall, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

Jan Vanriet (1948)

Salted Meat – Vive la Sociale!, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 × 550 cm

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Jan Vanriet studied at the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, combining painting with poetry. In 1968 he took part in writers’ protests against literary censorship in Belgium. In 1971 he became the youngest member of the editorial board of the political magazine De Nieuwe Maand. In 1972 he exhibited for the first time at the Zwarte Panter gallery, and after this Vanriet began his collaboration with the gallery owner Jan Lens (Lens Fine Arts). His books, published by Manteau, his literary collaborations and his designs for the covers of the literary magazine Revolver were interspersed with his exhibitions: art biennials in São Paulo, Venice and Seoul and at the Isy Brachot gallery in Brussels and 1082 in Paris, among others. In 1993, when Antwerp was European Capital of Culture, Vanriet held an important exhibition and painted the ceiling of the foyer of the restored Bourla Theatre. The Lippisches Landes museum in Detmold held an exhibition of his work entitled Transport (1994–2004), showing paintings partly inspired by the Second World War: his parents and other members of his family were part of the Resistance against the Nazi invasion and were arrested and deported to Mauthausen and Ravensbrück. In 2005 he travelled to Israel to install his triptych Nathan the Wise. In 2010 the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp invited Vanriet to ‘close’ the museum prior to its refurbishment and held the retrospective exhibition Closing Time in dialogue with classical artists such as Rubens, Van Eyck, Titian and Cranach; in 2012 Closed Doors became the inaugural exhibition of the Roberto Polo Gallery in Brussels. In 2013 Vanriet presented Losing Face, a series on the Jews deported from Belgium to Auschwitz; it was shown at the Kazerne Museum in Mechelen and later at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow. Vanriet has works in, among other places, the National Museum of Gdansk, the British Museum in London, the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw, the New Art Gallery Walsall, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

Maria Roosen (1957)

Red Roosenary, 2008, glass, climbing rope and 16th-century statue of the Virgin, 350 × 1,500 cm

Born in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands, Maria Roosen studied at the Academy of Art and Design in Arnhem and at the Moller Institute in Tilburg. She creates sculptures, installations, conceptual art and drawings. Roosen represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale in 1995.
She has received important awards including the Wilhelminaring for Dutch sculpture in 2006 and the Singer Prize in 2009. Her work, which often involves the use of craft techniques (ceramics, wood, glass, knitting), addresses subjects such as growth, fertility, love, friendship, death and the rapid passing of the day-to-day. Tree branches, fruit, sunflowers, jugs, breasts, seeds and shoes are common motifs in her pieces, which are often exhibited outdoors. Roosen usually works in collaboration with other craftspeople – from Nepalese embroiderers to master glassmakers from the Czech Republic. She considers her sculptures to be ‘tools for feelings’. Her work is found in numerous private collections, and she has exhibited in art spaces including the Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, the Groninger Museum in Groningenand the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

Maria Roosen (1957)

Red Roosenary, 2008, glass, climbing rope and 16th-century statue of the Virgin, 350 × 1,500 cm

Born in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands, Maria Roosen studied at the Academy of Art and Design in Arnhem and at the Moller Institute in Tilburg. She creates sculptures, installations, conceptual art and drawings. Roosen represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale in 1995.
She has received important awards including the Wilhelminaring for Dutch sculpture in 2006 and the Singer Prize in 2009. Her work, which often involves the use of craft techniques (ceramics, wood, glass, knitting), addresses subjects such as growth, fertility, love, friendship, death and the rapid passing of the day-to-day. Tree branches, fruit, sunflowers, jugs, breasts, seeds and shoes are common motifs in her pieces, which are often exhibited outdoors. Roosen usually works in collaboration with other craftspeople – from Nepalese embroiderers to master glassmakers from the Czech Republic. She considers her sculptures to be ‘tools for feelings’. Her work is found in numerous private collections, and she has exhibited in art spaces including the Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, the Groninger Museum in Groningenand the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

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