a free spirit
As a homage to the artist, who was born 125 years ago, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium presents in an extensive exhibition the original and very personal work of Léon Spilliaert (Ostend 1881 - Brussels 1946). It is suitable to make the point about the diversity of style, content and spirituality of those works, which, although influenced by the spirit of the 'fin de siècle', will develop far beyond Symbolism. His original interpretation immediately stands out in the dark wash drawings of his first years, when he painted sharp and acute compositions showing a sound analysis and a deep psychology. While taking a bright look at his surrounding world, he indulged in an intense retrospection from which he extracted visionary self-portraits. Spilliaert has acquaintances with the artistic movement of his time, confronting himself to the contemporary painters as well as writers. He is the precursor of a geometrical abstraction, a constructed and colourful Expressionism, a Surrealism mixed up with images and at the same time he redefines a vision of the space inspired by Japanese engravings.