Opening on October 18, 2006, David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Belgian artist Raoul De Keyser. In 2004, De Keyser was the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, England, which traveled to the Musée de Rochechouart, Rochechouart, France; De Pont Museum for Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; Fundãçao Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporãnea, Porto, Portugal; and Kunstverein St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland (all 2004). Other important solo exhibitions include S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium (2001); The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2000); and Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland (1999). De Keyser has participated in numerous prestigious group exhibitions, including LUZ, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium (2005); Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof, Hamburger Banhof-Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany (2004); Painting on the Move, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (2002); Mixing Memory and Desire, Neues Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland (2000); and Der zerbrochene Spiegel. Positionen zur Malerei, Messepalast & Kuntsthalle, Vienna, Austria (traveled to Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany) (1992). This will be the artist's third solo exhibition at the gallery.
Born in 1930, Raoul de Keyser is one of Europe's leading painters. In the mid-1960s, he was a member of Nieuwe Visie (New Vision), a group of painters who sought to reinvigorate certain aspects of European formalism by taking ordinary subjects and reducing them to simple flat shapes and lines. Having exhibited widely since then, de Keyser gained international recognition at Documenta IX in Kassel, Germany in 1992. He is known in Belgium as the father of contemporary painting, and his work has greatly influenced a generation of younger artists such as Tomma Abts, Rebecca Morris, and Luc Tuymans.
Throughout the 1970s, De Keyser explored compositions based on the corner of a soccer field, a motif begun with a chalk powder outline at the Groninger Museum in The Netherlands. Using an abstract language with echoes of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Color-field painting, he presents the pared-down particularities of the ephemeral, the unseen and underecognized.
…[De Keyser's] work in no way exhibits tendencies of a postmodern eclecticism that would reduce the history of painting to a mere collection of styles. If anything, De Keyser's work, in modest proportions, has the spirit of painting when abstraction was celebrated for opening new possibilities within the realm of pictorial expression. –Hamza Walker