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
Czechoslovakia - House in...
Jef Geys, Czechoslovakia - House in Prague - 1985 - Bocân, 1991. Object, wood, plexi, 24 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.
Drie mappen - Alle foto's...
Jef Geys, Drie mappen - Alle foto's genomen tot 1 januari 1986, 1986. Article.
Events View all
The collection III – Spri...
22 February 2003 - 18 May 2003.
In the first presentation, there was much room for the rather conceptually coloured core of the collection – the works from the Gordon Matta-
Martin Douven – Leopoldsb...
09 September 2011 - 31 December 2011.
Martin Douven (°1898 - †1973), a self-made painter from Leopoldsburg, started in 1928 with the sale of his own paintings. Later, he taught hi
The collection XXXIII – T...
07 June 2013 - 22 September 2013.
The character of a collection reflected the current priorities of the M HKA collection: the evaluation of Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition; th
LATT: MUHKADEMIE 2013
27 September 2013 - 05 January 2014.
In 2013, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp marked its 350th anniversary. This makes it the fourth oldest art school in the world and the
Ensembles View all
RAGE This notion came to mind when pairing Vlassis Caniaris, Jef Geys and Cady Noland. Rage is often perceived as a blinding feeling,
SOLIDARITEIT / SOLIDARITE...
‘Solidare’ - solid, dense, hard, strong and, in the transitive sense, ‘to form a whole’, ‘to unite’, is the origin and the meaning of the ter
IE - Intercontinentaal En...
Project covering various aspects of the artistic interventions of Jef Lambrecht, sometimes along with Karel Schoetens (BIWA) and others - con