1934 - 2018
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
Drie mappen - Alle foto's...
Jef Geys, Drie mappen - Alle foto's genomen tot 1 januari 1986, 1986. Article.
ABC, Ecole de Paris [ABC,...
Jef Geys, ABC, Ecole de Paris [ABC, School of Paris], 1959-1961. Installation, mixed media, paper, 7 x (135 x 90 x 5 cm), 7 x (137.7 x 92.1 x 5 cm), 157,2 x 129,5 x 4,5 cm.
Events View all
Urgent Conversations Athe...
31 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition in the long overdue public unfolding of the Greek National Museum of
28 April 2017 - 31 December 2021.
For the first time, the M HKA will be able to present a permanent collection exhibition with iconic masterpieces from Flemish and internation
Von der Wiederholung der ...
18 October 1991 - 23 November 1991.
Group show enttled "Von der Wiederholung der Träume zur Realität" - Kunst aus Belgien - curated by Ulli Lindmayr at Galerie Grita Insam, Vien
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
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