Conceptual, Surrealist, Pictorial

Conceptual, Surrealist, Pictorial

Photo-Based Art in Belgium (1960s – early 1990s)

Conceptual, Surrealist, Pictorial is the first in-depth study of the use of photography by Belgian artists from the 1960s until the early 1990s. During these three decades, photography generally underwent a major evolution with regard to its status as a gallery-focused fine art practice. Liesbeth Decan explores ten representative case studies, which are contextualized within and compared with contemporary international artistic trends. Successively, she addresses the pioneering use of photography within Conceptual art (represented by Marcel Broodthaers, Jacques Charlier, and Jef Geys), the heyday of Photoconceptualism in Belgium (represented by Jacques Lennep, Jacques Lizène, Philippe Van Snick, and Danny Matthys), and the transition from a conceptual use of photography toward a more pictorial, tableau-like approach of the medium (represented by Jan Vercruysse, Ria Pacquée, and Dirk Braeckman). Ultimately, the selected case studies reveal that photo-based art in Belgium is characterized by the uniting of elements from conceptual art, surrealism, and the pictorial tradition.

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