March 11, 2001 - Artist Talk with Raoul de Keyser

Since the 1960s, the paintings of Raoul De Keyser have uniquely defined a place for themselves within the scope of contemporary art. Influenced by the post-war American Modernist movement, De Keyser's canvases reference Color-field painting and Minimalism. Like the work of the pioneers of abstract painting, each of his paintings contains its own individuality. He has created a successful formal marriage between the artistic dichotomies of figuration versus abstraction, the physicality of paint versus the ephemerality of the image, and exploration of the fundamentals of painting versus references to his personal life and surroundings. We are treated to particularity, unpredictability and the flux and anxiety of the everyday. In their allusion to reality, they spark a poetry which is hard even for the least sentimental viewer to resist.

De Keyser was born in 1930 and in the mid -1960s he joined New Vision, a group of painters interested in revitalizing earlier strains of European formalism. Since then, he has become an increasingly important figure in contemporary painting, having exhibited widely in Europe including Documenta IX in 1992.

This extraordinary survey of twenty paintings will reflect De Keyser's work from 1980 through 1999. His series of monochrome, dualchrome and abstract forms illustrate the broad range of painterly possibilities, boundaries explored, and broadened palette since 1980. This exhibition has been organized by independent curator Greg Salzman and will have two venues on its North American tour: The Goldie Paley Gallery at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia and The Renaissance Society. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog edited by principle essayist Steven Jacobs with writings by Roberta Smith, Ulrich Loock, Wim Van Mulders and others.

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