Raoul De Keyser: The Last Wall
Afterword by Barbara Weiss, Kasper König. Photographs by Jef Van Eynde.
In the summer of 2012, the acclaimed Belgian painter Raoul De Keyser (1930-2012) was preparing a show with David Zwirner, planned for March 2013. His friend, the photographer Jef Van Eynde, visited him that summer. “We were allowed to take a look at a new series of small paintings in his studio,” Van Eynde recalls in his postscript to this volume. “In their startling simplicity, these had been reduced right down to the essential. Some of them just had an oversized hook for a hanger, with the canvas simply wrapped around a wooden board.” De Keyser died in October 2012, and Van Eynde’s photographs of the paintings and the titular wall upon which they were arranged are the only documentation of his intentions for the Zwirner show. This intimate volume gathers these alongside portraits of De Keyser at home and in his studio.
Publisher: MER. Paper Kunsthalle
Artists: Raoul De Keyser
Contributors: Kasper König, Jef Van Eynde, Barbara Weiss
Designer: Studio Luc Derycke
Printer: Cultura, Wetteren, Belgium
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 6 3/4 x 9 1/4 in (17.1 x 23.5 cm)
Reproductions: 19 color, 11 b&w
Retail: $50 US & Canada | £22 | €25
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.