MANPOWER - Belgian Masters


Wed. - fri.: 10:30 - 12:30 and 14:00 - 18:00
sat & sun: 10:30 - 13:00
and by appointment

Francis Maere Fine Arts Gallery is very happy to start up this season with a new episode in the format “Artist in Residence”, giving the opportunity to contemporary artist to invade the gallery space and to dialogue
with the “old” masters of the collection.
This time we can clearly speak of a “rare” bird. Those birds who are really hard and difficult to spot, but when the time is right they show up in all their splendor and glory, a supreme
moment for every artlover. More over he shows up to settle among his much older fellow artists on a quiet and discrete location. You won’t find him in trendy or popular places among the noisy herd of sheep.

Bart Van Steenkiste was in his 20ies when he entered the classes “sculpture” at the KASK in
Ghent, In those years “conceptual art” knew its heydays, excluding almost every kind of figuration in art.
In 1980 he decided not to follow the mainstream and refused to play a role in what he called “the circus of contemporary art”.
He then started studying the ancient Greek and Roman classical masters and began modelling the clay instead of the idea. Isolated in his studio he continued working on a set of sculptures he started 25 years ago. Another one was accomplished after 8 years of patience and endurance. Bart Van Steenkiste refused all propositions for showing his work and rarely opened his atelier to the public.
It was during one of those open-atelier occasions that I discovered his work and persuaded him to participate at the Contemporary Art Festival “Let’s Get Out” in the summer of 2021.

Bart Vansteenkiste was immediately trigged by the idea of creating a sort of conversation with the artists of the gallery as there are, Constant Permeke, Jean Brusselmans, Théo Van Rysselberghe, Gustave Vande Woestijne, Léon Spilliaert, Gustave De Smet, Ossip Zadkine and many others.
Also the idea of exhibiting in the rich 18th Century salons full of history, inspired him, more then the actually very trendy “white cube” galleries.
In a way it is the art historical background that attracted me in his work. It is based on a broad knowledge of the arthistory but adapted to our contemporary world, confronting and treating the contemporary mindset not without a soft touch of anarchy.

During those two months you’ll have the opportunity to discover his work in bronze and plaster and to admire his powerfull preparatory drawings together with our Belgian Masters
of the beginning of the XXth century.

Gustave Vande Woestyne, Pastel, farmershead, Belgian Art,

Gustave Vande Woestyne: Catherine, Mixed technique on paper, 46 x 38,5 cm

Sint-Martens-Latem, Latemse School, expressionism, Belgische Kunst, Hubert Malfait, Back to the field, cows

Hubert Malfait: Back to the Field,1923, Oil on Canvas, 100 x 120 cm

Gustave Vande Woestyne, Pastel, farmershead, Belgian Art,
Sint-Martens-Latem, Latemse School, expressionism, Belgische Kunst, Hubert Malfait, Back to the field, cows

The fantastic world of Sophie Nyns



Ooidonkdreef 5
9800 Ooidonk (Deinze)

+32 (0)475 69 23 05

sat & sun: 14:00 - 18:00
and by appointment

Sophie Nyns was born in Brussels in 1926. Only daughter in a family with broad cultural
interests, she soon develops her own artistic vocation.
At the Art Institute of La Cambre, Brussels, she starts studying pottery and ceramics with Pierre Caille (1911-1996), in Belgium the pioneer of sculptural ceramics.
Together with Guy De Sauvage (1921-2007) and Max Vanderlinden (1922-1999) she developed a new interest in ceramic art creating not only pottery but also sculptures and bas-reliefs.
In the course of this training period she met a number of artists who played an important role in the Belgian artscene. She came soon befriended with the sculptors Olivier Strebelle (1927 – 2017) and George Grard (1901 – 1984) but above all she became the muse of Paul Delvaux (1897 – 1994) who encouraged and supported her in her artistic career. They shared a number of affinities and an artistic sensibility which can easily be traced in her work.

Her world is a world of dreams, fantasies, and gentle provocation. Sophie Nyns navigates with an almost childish naivety between the movements of Pop Art, les Nouveaux Réalistes or Cobra. Together with Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle or Karel Appel she shares the same joy and happiness of life, the apparently lightness of being.
The female figures she then creates in terracotta and bronze reminds us of the ones we see in the work of Delvaux. Women who seem to stare into the distance or into space, figures who flaunt their proud nudity with their breasts carried high and whose bodies stand in sharp contrast with the detached expression of their faces, who sometimes turn into facetious angels thanks to a pair of wings they grow on their backs. They are given titles or names that Eric Satie would have gladly used and which refer to the theme of the amorous seduction. Sophie Nyns represents the non-intellectual side of surrealism of the late sixties and seventies, the escape into fantasy through a language close to the one of the old Etruscan, Greek, Roman or Egyptian cultures.

Places where Sophie Nyns participated in solo/group exhibitions: Val de Cambre Brussels, Museums of Ixelles and Louvain-la-Neuve, Berlin, Bogota, Barcelona, Lodz, Paris, Marseille, Middelheim park in Antwerp, museums of Ghent, Hasselt, Veurne, Verviers, Mons and in the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Due to her collaboration with architects Charles Van Neyten, Jules Trenseleau and Leon Stynen her decorative work has been integrated into several public buildings: Museum Art and History Brussels, Casino Ostend, Royal Circus, University of Ghent, House of the Arts Schaerbeek and many private houses.

Alongside the solo exhibition of Sophie Nyns, FRANCIS MAERE FINE ARTS will also present works by ETIENNE DESMET, HANNEKE BEAUMONT & JOHAN DE WIT at GOED TE REABLES