1934 - 2018
Born in Athens (GR), born in Leopoldsburg (BE), died in Balen (BE).
Jef Geys (1934 - 2018) graduated from the Antwerp Art Academy and settled in Balen, in the Kempen region, where he worked as an art teacher at a girls school for more than 30 years. In fact, this was one of Geys's many ways to criticise society and art - a critique that is a fundamental value in its extensive, diverse and complex work.
Geys has been described as an artist stuck between a regional and international context, cut off from social reality. That is not necessarily true. In many respects, he is a disciple of Marcel Duchamp, who defended the strategy of undisclosed withdrawal. Geys has chosen to build his work on provincial references. All his exhibitions are accompanied by an issue of the newspaper Kempens Informatieblad, which he publishes himself and designs like a local, free circulation newspaper.
One of his most important strategies is subversion, which, as he rightly emphasises, can only ‘happen within the system’. In 1970, Geys was invited to prepare a solo exhibition in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He answered with a letter to the museum, - and to the Ministry of Culture, Defense and Justice - proposing to blow up the museum. Nevertheless, the exhibition took place the following year. This is characteristic of his method, which is focused on processes and seeks confrontation: Geys creates situations that are so full of contradictory potential that they threaten to inflate; by dismantling them, he shows the corrupting powers of the present reality even more compellingly.
Items View all
Deutschland - Haus Lempke...
Jef Geys, Deutschland - Haus Lempke Weissensee - Berlin - 1932 - L. Mies Van de Rohe, 1991. Object, wood, plexi, 14 x 35 x 27 cm.
Martin Douven - Leopoldsb...
Jef Geys, Martin Douven - Leopoldsburg - Jef Geys (Kempens Informatieblad 2011), 2011. Book, ink, paper, 44 x 30.5 cm, language : Dutch, English, French, German, publisher : Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerpen.
Events View all
From Broodthaers to Braec...
06 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Through representative examples From Broodthaers to Braeckman. Photography in the Visual Arts in Belgium shows how the medium of photography
Superdemocracy – The Sen...
01 October 2017 - 31 October 2017.
The exhibition SUPERDEMOCRACY engages with the collections of M HKA (Antwerp) and BPS22 (Charleroi). The exhibitions allows the voices of ind
Salon de Peinture
17 January 2019 - 31 March 2019.
For those who were still in doubt: painting is thriving. In two M HKA spaces, the exhibition Salon de Peinture offers a picture of the curren
Ensembles View all
The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public
NU TE ZIEN
The M HKA collection is built around three approaches to art: image, action and society. While generally works cannot be classified exclusive
We're happy to share a number of artworks which will be on display in our new collection space as of 27 April 2017.
Aanwinsten 2017 [Acquisit...
In 2017, the collection was enriched by the international avant-garde from our region in the 60s and 70s, with an emphasis on performativity