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Serge Vandercam Exhibition

Du regard à la main ("From the look to the hand") (BAM – 24 April to 29 August 2010)

Five years after the death of Serge Vandercam (1924-2005), BAM pays tribute to him by presenting a body of work that is vast but still relatively unknown by the general public. Associated with Cobra since 1949, Vandercam always retained its collective spirit, interspersing his career journey with collaborations with writers and poets (Hugo Claus, Christian Dotremont, Jean Dypréau, François Jacqmin, Jacques Meuris, Max Loreau, etc.). These companions on his journey would be both witnesses (as authors of the texts) and participants (through their shared works) in the evolution of an artistic world of multiple forms. This exhibition therefore revolves around photos and paintings to which the ceramic characters and Oizal sculptures respond.

The journey extends over the first floor and part of the second floor, taking in over 200 works, on loan both from public institutions and private collections.

The diversity of techniques employed by Vandercam in no way disrupt the continuity of his body of work, but rather participate in it fully.

Vandercam enriched his life and work with discoveries, encounters and travels that nourished the fervent world of his mind in the respite of the intimate atmosphere of his studio.

Creativity is a vital surge in which the hand frees itself as the gesture is unfurled so as to present itself for all to see. This exhibition is an opportunity to show some of the works from the Thomas Neirynck Collection held by the Fondation Roi Baudouin at BAM.

Highly sensitive to the mood of a studio, Thomas Neirynck paid regular visits to Serge Vandercam and followed the exhibitions that galleries dedicated to him. In this way, he acquired no fewer than 40 of his works.

Furthermore, the exhibition formalises the transfer, negotiated with help from the King Baudouin Foundation United States, of four works by Serge Vandercam from the Stéphane Janssen Collection. A former gallery owner and a major collector, Stéphane Janssen presented and argued in favour of Serge Vandercam's work through exhibitions that he organised at his Brussels gallery in 1970 and 1973. Stéphane Janssen selected BAM as the recipient of these, to enhance its permanent collections.

Official positions:

From 1979 to 1989, Vandercam taught at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Visuels de La Cambre.

From 1980 to 1989, he was director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Wavre.

In 1993, he was elected to Belgium's Academy of Science, Literature and Fine Art.

In 1998, he was Chairman of the Royal Academy and Director of the Fine Arts class.


1955: Hélène Jacquet prize

1956: Young Belgian Painting prize

1957: Lissone prize Gold medal at the Triennale di Milano.

1963: Gold medal for ceramics in Albisola (Italy) and first prize for art film at the Antwerp Festival for "Un autre monde" ("Another World").

Catalogue: Serge Vandercam, Du regard à la main, published jointly by BAM and Aparté Editions, €32

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