Belgian Arts

Belgian art, the art of Belgium since its independence (1830); about the previous period Dutch art.


In the 19th century, T. F. Suys and J. P. Cluysenaar in Brussels and L. Roelandt in Ghent continued French classicism in the art of architecture. With the effect of powerful representation based on baroque patterns, J. Poelaert worked on his design for the Palace of Justice in Brussels (1866–83), a major work of Belgian historicism. The first Art Nouveau building was the Hôtel Tassel (1892/93) in Brussels, designed by V. Horta. Besides V. Horta worked P. Hankar and v. a. H. van de Velde also active in the field of applied art who moved to Germany in 1899, where he decisively influenced the development of Art Nouveau. The Austrian J. Hoffmann created an outstanding architectural monument in the Art Nouveau style with the Palais Stoclet (World Heritage) (1905–11) in Brussels. V. Bourgeois, particularly involved in social housing, built an important example of the international style with the Cité Moderne in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe near Brussels (1922–25). L. Stijnen (e.g. casino in Knokke, 1930; office building of the BP in Antwerp, 1961) appeared as a representative of functionalism emerged. The careful handling of the largely preserved building stock was evident in urban planning concepts (e.g. for Liège, 1978), in numerous restorations and in new buildings, among others. by Charles Vandenhove (* 1927), which are adapted to the traditional architectural style in a modern way (University Center in Liège, 1986). With often smaller and private orders in the field of deconstructivist and fantastic architecture, among other things. Michel Benoit (* 1941) and Thierry Verbiest (* 1942), Bernard Herbecq (* 1950) and Luc Schuiten (* 1944). Another important representative of contemporary architecture is L. Kroll (University district in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert near Brussels, 1970–77) and Jo Crepain (* 1950; Loft Crepain, 1995–97, and master plan for the city of Antwerp, 2001–02).

Fine arts

History painting of the 19th century was initially based on the works of French painters (especially J. L. David, E. Delacroix), so v. a. G. Wappers, É. Bièfve, L. Gallait and N. de Keyser. The paintings by H. Leys and F. de Braekeleer are more firmly attached to their own tradition. A. Wiertz was v. a. known for his monumental pictures with horror scenes. H. Boulenger incorporated ideas from the Barbizon School into his landscapes. A. Stevens painted still lifes as well as genre pictures of high society; like the portraits and landscapes of H. Evenepoels, they are influenced by French Impressionism. E. Laermans pursued socially critical tendencies with his scenes from the life of the peasants and those in need. The painter and sculptor C. Meunier heroized the working people in his work, which was influenced by realism.

According to aparentingblog, the transition to modernity began with the magazine “L’Art Moderne”, founded in 1881, and the “Circle des Vingts” (1884–93), a group of artists who at times propagated Neo-Impressionism (T. van Rysselberghe), but also symbolism (F. Khnopff) and prepared Art nouveau in Belgium. F. Rops stood out among the graphic artists. R. Wouters approached Fauvism with his pictures. G. Minne, the main representative of Belgian sculpture at the turn of the century, lived in Sint-Martens-Latem near Ghent, where a group of modern artists gathered, including the painter G. van de Woestijne. Found European recognition F. Masereel with graphics that are critical of the times and socially and the symbolist J. Ensor, who with his early pictures is also one of the forerunners of Expressionism. The most important Belgian expressionist was C. Permeke, the leading painter of the younger group of Sint-Martens-Latem, which also included A. Servaes, F. van den Berghe and G. de Smets. The most famous representatives of surrealism in Belgium were R. Magritte and P. Delvaux. In 1945 the avant-garde group Jeune Peinture Belge joined forces. G. Vantongerloo made a significant contribution to abstract art, Member of theStijl group, V. Servranckx and P. Alechinsky, co-founders of the Cobra group. Initially, M. Wyckaert also devoted himself to informal painting. The sculptor R. d’Haese came out with bizarre abstract sculptures, P. Bury v. a. with kinetic objects. An important representative of Concept Art was M. Broodthaers. The painter and object artist Panamarenko deals with fantastic technical constructions.

Since the 1980s, artists have drawn attention to themselves, among other things. to deal conceptually with the structures of the art business and art reception. These include Guillaume Bijl (* 1949), Jef Geys (* 1935), Thierry de Cordier (* 1954), Lili Dujourie (* 1941), J. Fabre , Michel Mouffe (* 1957), Jan Vercruysse, who lives in Belgium and Germany (* 1948) and Didier Vermeiren (* 1951). In mostly large-scale installations, material and presentation are questioned about their possibilities of staging an aura of the artistic. The preoccupation with recent art history, with museum didactic concepts and the aesthetic alienation of everyday situations plays a role. Representative painting has experienced a sustained upswing since the 1990s. An outstanding representative is Luc Tuymans (* 1958), who shows himself to be a critical chronicler of politically explosive topics (Holocaust, Iraq war, etc.). With video works in which landscapes and people dominate and whose images resemble monumental photographs, David Claerbout (* 1969) received international attention.

Belgian Arts

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