Jan Verheyden (Puurs, April 10, 1923 in Brussels, 2008) grows up as the son of Albert Verheyden and Elisabeth De Wachter who run a colonial shop. Coffee, cinnamon, figs, petroleum and sugar surround him.
School is of little interest to him.What he finds interesteing, are the beautiful prints on the wall. In math he is the last one. In drawing he's the top of the class. Jan wanted to become an artist. The village holds its breath. They had not experienced anything like this in Puurs.
Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. National Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. Jan learns the craft. Especially with Jos Verdegem. Painting everyday life every day as wel as etching. Copy Rembrandt until his eyes tumble around. In Antwerp he ends up at Baron Opsomer. Then with his main teacher Permeke. He lets him paint large figures in black paint on brown wrapping paper.
It's war. When the storm is over the urge immerges to travel. See the world : Paris, Florence, Amsterdam and their major museums. Admiring the old Masters. Jan can't have enough.
This is followed by his first exhibition in Brussels. Many critics praise his graphic qualities. Others speak of a promising talent. 'He could serve us quite some pleasant surprises in the future.' The usual journalistic talk as the road is still long.
Then he meets Geneviève whom he marries in 1956. She speaks only French. Jan exclusively Flemish. Even when he speaks French. But both understand each other perfectly. They settle in the country of Breughel, their home is filled with friendship and happiness. Little happens in term of painting and drawing.
Jan works at a large international advertising agency as a strange bird among the slick Brussels advertising boys. But Jan remains himself. Advertising becomes his big learning school. Advertising is synthesis. Immediate power of expression. Impact. That vision will also determine his later artistic work. Direct expressive power is evident from his drawings. Without aesthetic detours, straightforward.
Jan spent his entire life making his eyes take in the surroundings. He observes intensely. Surprised and delighted. Fall in love with life itself. He has collected countless impressions. In his imagination he sees wrestlers, weightlifters, cyclists. Giants in full action, grotesque in their power displays, yet wonderful. Together with the wives he has observed over the course of his life. Women he knows from the paintings of Rubens and Cranach. From film, fashion, television, everyday life. Jan does not draw the woman as she is but as he likes her. The woman in superlative. Strongly influenced by Rubens' view of the woman, he draws the woman in her complete beauty. In its grandiose maturity. Heavenly naked and immortal.
Women. Jan draws countless of them. In all forms, shapes and positions. As an admirer but without idealizing her. Jan is not concerned with the classical beauty of her body but with her movements. He admires her gestures and attitudes. The way she puts her legs down and lifts her arms. The gesture of a hand. The position of her head, the movement of her hip. The woman who becomes magical when she moves. The woman is not standing in front of him but lives inside him. For Jan, drawing is the lover's gesture, caressing the skin.
Jan doesn't draw details. The graphic expression dominates. There is no hesitation in Jan's drawings. Everything or nothing. Uncompromising. No aesthetic clair-obscur. No charming color accents. Only the bare black line on the large white paper. The master's hand. Reliable, complex. No line too little. But above all no line too much.
But his drawings are more than just graphical fantasies of the female nude. They are also a confirmation of life. Testimonies of his zest for life. Jan wants to retain something of his happiness in his drawings. Saving something from the paradise that is irrevocably lost. In his exuberant female figures he camouflages his unrest; he hides his fears. He draws with the steady hand of happiness but also with the resignation of the man who does not want to accept the transience. Hence the exaggeration. His women make dramatic gestures. Signs of supreme lust for life or spells against death.
In Jan's work it is always summer. He draws with a kind of pagan joy. Just as you must view his art. Unbridled happy and uninhibited. Art that makes everyone happy. Anyone who has kept a piece of Paradise in his heart.
New exhibition by Jan and other artists during The exhibition in WAGG . The opening with snacks and drinks is on Thursday 25 April at 7 pm in Waterloo (216 chauss & # xE9; e de bruxelles 1410 Waterloo). The works can be viewed for 3 months.
Admire works by various artists and Jan during Schatten op zolder . You are welcome Saturday and Sunday from 3 t.e.m. 25 March in HANGAR311 in Mechelen.
Modest exhibition by Jan & # 39s working in the charming village of Hamme-Mille during the St. Maartens festivities. Every weekend from November 4, 2017 to November 26, 2017
Beautiful exhibition of Jan's works in cultural center
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