La Patinoire Royale brings together under one roof, one exhibition, one title « Sculpting Belgium », over thirty Belgian artists, mainly sculptors, from the mid 40s and up. Each artist has in his or her own and unique way sculpted the face of the Post-War Belgian art scene.
Although one might find it hard to categorize and describe the aesthetics of this multifaceted and heterogeneous movement dating back to the beginning of the 50s up until the end of the 80s, one cannot deny its phenomenal creative power influenced by a postwar era where formal research exploded and gave way to the use of new and innovative materials such as steel and plastic.
This creative phenomenon in which artistic perspectives are intertwined with social and political interests, is symbolized by a sense of freedom, a reluctance and rejection of « traditional » art and, in some way, a desire for a clean slate.
The impact of the Second World War on the Art Deco aesthetics, forever associated with the fascistic regimes, is immediately apparent notably with the emerging curiosity and search for minimalism and abstraction; a subversion already embraced by Belgian sculptor Oscar Jespers (1887-1970). Father to « Frieda », the bronze sculpture on the cover of this press release, Jespers remains today the key figure of the Belgian School of the 50s.
« Sculpting Belgium » pays tribute to the many who have passed away and those who have been forgotten and sheds light on a talented generation of artists neglected by their own for too long.
La Patinoire Royale collaborated closely and with much enthusiasm with the beneficiaries, widows, widowers, children, relatives and friends of these thirty artists who saw this project as a final way to rehabilitate and to rekindle in extremis with the Belgian public. The group-show highlights each individual legacy of these sons and daughters of the Kingdom of Belgium by confronting sculptures and paintings in a fifties/sixties-vibe scenography, bringing the spectator back to an era too often neglected in the Belgian History of Art.
Artists : Marcel ARNOULD, Pol BURY, Pierre CAILLE, Gilbert DECOCK, André DEKEIJSER, Yves DE SMET, Reinhoud D’HAESE, Jan DRIES, Francis DUSEPULCHRE, André EIJBERG, Vic GENTILS, Jean-Pierre GHYSELS, Jo DELAHAUT, Monique GUEBELS-DERVICHIAN, Marie-Paule HAAR, Pal HORVATH, Oscar JESPERS, Jean-Paul LAENEN, Antonia LAMBELE, Walter LEBLANC, Jacques MOESCHAL, Félix ROULIN, Emile SOUPLY, Olivier STREBELLE, TAPTA, Camiel VAN BREEDAM, Jan VAN DEN ABBEEL, Guy VANDENBRANDEN, Hilde VAN SUMERE, Marc VERSTOCKT, Ferdinand VONCK, André WILLEQUET.
La Patinoire Royale (press release)