Zonder titel [Untitled]

Raoul De Keyser


Painting, 6 x (21 x 32.5 cm).
Materials: oil on canvas

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK5634_M66).

Inspired by a reawakening of Belgian painting in the 1980s, Raoul De Keyser began to acknowledge more possibilities in the painted image. His palette was enriched, he would allow for increasingly complex pictorial spaces and he would combine different painting techniques in one work. The thin white line, which appears in almost all phases of De Keyser’s career as a painter, appears to have an independent function during these years. For instance, through the careful application of brushstrokes he divides colour fields in two, or allows a white line to link different panels together. The quality of the painting is decided not only by technique and structure; the characteristics of the canvas are more actively brought into play. Zonder titel is part of this development. The spontaneous movement of the white line across the different black panels achieves an integral composition, which expresses an unfailing sense of space. Viewers are resolutely referred back to the world of painting itself. The rhythm of the white line is interrupted here and there by the limits of a surface. This provokes the question of what a painting really can be. Zonder titel can be regarded as a minimal and reticent work, but it is also grandiose, timeless.

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