Posted in Martin Douven - Leopoldsburg by gijs van doorn on August 16, 2011

Martin Douven (1898-1973), a self-taught painter from Leopoldsburg, started selling his own small paintings in 1928. He later taught his children and others to paint in a form of mass production. After the war his company expanded into a factory making both paintings and frames that employed two hundred people and exported worldwide.

As a boy, Jef Geys was at school with one of Douven’s sons, and this gave him the opportunity to see the workings of the factory. In the late fifties, when he was already a painter and teacher, by chance he received from his father-in-law a painting originating from Douven’s workshops. This work (of a lake with two small swans) became the starting point for a study of the essential elements of painting: what made an image ‘attractive’, to whom, and how? This gave rise to a series of black paintings in which Geys marked the centre of gravity geometrically. It was here too that his exploration of various aspects of the painting itself began: support, material, helpers, signature, and so on. All this together, starting out from Martin Douven, forms the subject of this exhibition in M HKA.

9 sept 2011-31 dec 2011 in M HKA

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