Uncannily real. Magic realism and new objectivity

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Date 10/05/2014 - 31/08/2014

This is the sixth in a series of exhibitions on The MODERNS at Koningin Fabiolazaal, a venue run by the Province of Antwerp. With work by Carel Willink, Pyke Koch, Raoul Hynckes, Paul Delvaux, Gino Severini, Charley Toorop, Henry Van Straten and Charles Dekeukeleire.

After World War I, some artists turned their backs on abstraction and began to explore various strands of realism and illusionism. Below the surface, however, they retained a Modernist streak, both in the execution of their work and in the choice of subject matter, which was often urban and surreal or magic realist in nature.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) and the Province of Antwerp are, for the very first time, devoting an exhibition to Belgian artists in this genre. Moreover, thanks to an exceptional collaboration with Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, which has sent some thirty pieces on loan, the show also highlights interesting links with the Netherlands. Dutch artist Pyke Koch produced a series of portraits of Belgian “streetwalkers”, including the eye-catching Bertha from Antwerp. And his compatriot and filmmaker Joris Ivens collaborated with Ostend-born director Henri Storck on the acclaimed social documentary Misère au Borinage.

Roaring Twenties

The Antwerp Print Room, for its part, has contributed a series of drawings by Henry Van Straten, a still-underrated chronicler of Antwerp’s Roaring Twenties. Short movies from Cinematek Brussels add further flavour from the fascinating decades between the two world wars. With this broad selection of portraits, still-life paintings and documentary films, the exhibition illustrates how uncannily real experimental painting became in this era. The distinctive work of Carel Willink, Pyke Koch and Paul Delvaux is presented as a separate ensemble.

Visitors guide

Download the visitors guide (PDF, 727 kB) or ask for it at the exhibition information desk.

An exhibition by the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and the Province of Antwerp featuring exceptional loans from Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

 Logos of the Province of Antwerp and KMSKA

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Uncannily real. Magic realism and new objectivity

  • De twee hansworsten (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    De twee hansworsten

  • Young Girl (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Young Girl

  • Self Portrait (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Self Portrait

  • Self Portrait (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Self Portrait

  • Azure (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Azure

  • Self Portrait (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Self Portrait

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