HOUTSNEDE: Frans Masereel in dialogue with Caroline Coolen, Tom Liekens and Camille Dufour
From 9 September, the 'HOUTSNEDE' exhibition runs at the Beguinage Church in Sint-Truiden. 50 years after the death of Frans Masereel (1889-1972), it is an appropriate moment for this expo. Curators Herman Maes and Marc Milissen show Masereel's extensive collection of prints and artefacts in dialogue with the church's centuries-old murals and the works of three contemporary artists who have built an oeuvre around woodcuts.
Frans Masereel is one of the most important graphic artists of the 20th century. In 1976, his widow, the French artist Laure Malclès (1911-1981), put a selection of Frans Masereel's extensive work at the disposal of the province of Limburg to use for an exhibition in the Old Town of open-air museum Bokrijk. A year before her death, she converted this loan into an official bequest. This left the province of Limburg with an important Masereel collection: wood and linocuts, illustrated books, drawings, watercolours and paintings, but also furniture and working materials from his studio.
While Masereel makes woodcuts with the aim of being able to multiply his art, Caroline Coolen, Tom Liekens and Camille Dufour use the technique to create a unique work combining woodcut with textured prints, collage, performance and installation art to create new art forms. In short: a fascinating dialogue. One of artworks more than half a century apart. A dialogue that descends even deeper into time, through the unique setting of the Truien Beguinage Church. Unesco World Heritage Site thanks to its beautiful wall and pillar paintings with a strong graphic character. At times, they look like coloured woodcuts. They not only give the exhibition an extra dimension, but also immerse it in a third layer of time.