Robert Vandereycken, a Belgian artist rooted in Catalonia, has died

Robert Vandereycken, a Belgian artist rooted in Catalonia, has died
Conxita Oliver calonge - 27/04/24

Sculptor, painter, draftsman and engraver, Robert Vandereycken (Hasselt, Belgium, 1933-2024) was one of the most representative artists on the scene of contemporary Belgian creation. His relationship with Calonge (Baix Empordà) dates back sixty years. Since then, this artist has created part of his work from his studio in this location and it is clear that the light of the Costa Brava has been a source of inspiration in his creations. Vandereyken's work draws from different sources, among which the Flemish and Mediterranean artistic traditions stand out, ranging from classical origins to the most avant-garde currents.

Educated at the Institut Superior d'Arts Plàstiques in Liège, the Institut Superior La Cambre in Brussels and the Institut Normal de Duix from the same city, his biography is full of activities and recognitions. Activities that are not only limited to the field of artistic creation, but also extend to the field of pedagogy and the teaching of plastic arts at the Fine Arts Academies of Hasselt and Brussels, of which he became director. In addition, his concerns as a cultural agitator led him to the foundation of groups and the consolidation of artistic movements in Belgium.

A patient observer of reality and with a deep concern for constructive and volumetric structuring, to the rich Flemish artistic training, from which he drew his creative origins and different aesthetic roots, Vandereycken added the Mediterranean influence to his work , assuming its classical transmission reworked by the noucentist canons and colored by surrealist presuppositions. Whatever means he expresses himself, he does not hesitate to fuse classicism, expressionism and gesturalism. In sculpture, he uses the material roundness that he traces with stripes and graphics, all the while overcoming the limits that separate the domains of informal and formal work. In painting and drawing, he expresses himself with plastic intensity and vigor, thanks to energetic, fast and precise features that allow him to develop the subject he wants in an immediate way.

The long list of awards and prizes, among others, the appointment as a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium or the decoration of Knight of the Kroonorde (Order of the Crown), as well as the presentation of his works in important centers and galleries everywhere, the presence of his works in renowned museums and public collections or even the numerous commissions for monumental sculptures that took him to different cities, confirm his international trajectory and the wide echo that was won

On the other hand, his unifying personality made Calonge and its area of influence an artistic nucleus where artists from different places (Manuel Bea, Alvar, José Luis Lasala, Pablo Serrano...) gave themselves quote around a personality who linked and held together cultural grounds for the organization of important collaborations and cultural exchanges between his country and Catalonia.


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