Raoul De Keyser: Oeuvre
Edited with text by Martin Germann, and Bernhard Schwenk. Texts by Steven Jacobs, Luk Lambrecht, and Philippe Van Cauteren
From his debut in 1964, the widely beloved Belgian painter Raoul De Keyser pursued and developed a unique compositional sensibility in which distinctions between abstraction and figuration were to dissolve in an intimate, humble sensation of “everydayness.” His modestly scaled paintings featured simple but elusive shapes often rendered in a broadly pastel palette, full of gentle sensuality.
This 240-page volume accompanies the first posthumous retrospective exhibition on De Keyser at S.M.A.K., the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art in 2018, and is conceived as the new standard De Keyser monograph. Alongside a detailed account of the development of his art, it contains a comprehensive illustrated chronology, as well as a revelatory chapter on his drawing and photography. Friends and admirers of De Keyser’s, such as Tomma Abts, Maria Eichhorn, Werner Feiersinger, Suzan Frecon, Roland Jooris, Thomas Scheibitz, and James Welling, contribute comments on his life and work.
Publisher: Walther König, Köln
Artists: Raoul De Keyser
Publication Date: 2019
Dimensions: 8 1/4 x 10 3/4 in | 21 x 27.3 cm
Reproductions: 344 color
Retail: $59.95 | £45
Raoul De Keyser
For nearly fifty years, Raoul De Keyser (1930-2012) created subtly evocative paintings and works on paper which appear at once straightforward and cryptic, abstract and figurative. Composed of basic but indefinable shapes and marks, his works often invoke spatial and figural illusions, though they remain elusive of any descriptive narrative. Despite—or precisely because of—their sparse gesturing, De Keyser’s works convey a grandeur that inspires prolonged contemplation. Individually as well as collectively, his works revolve around the activity of painting, but also move beyond its physical means to become more than the sum of their parts. Their apparent simplicity belies a lengthy gestation period, which is guided largely by intuition, rather than by following a pre-existing plan.