Dan Van Severen

1927 (Lokeren, Belgium) – 2009 (Ghent, Belgium)

One describes the abstract oeuvre of Dan Van Severen with terms such as geometric abstraction, Formalism or Minimalism. Van Severen retains only the essential. With this, he makes a radical distinction between form and content. His works have a certain distance by which he breaks every relationship with the viewer and himself. Simple geometric forms (rectangle, square, circle and oval) determine his compositions. The works completely stand on their own with their interplay of lines and colours referring to each other, or the relationships between paper and ink and foreground and background. The viewer finds no point of entry and no approach to the artwork. The expectation of content is not fulfilled and the projected desires are obstructed. Each work refers to the previous, which indeed ensures that the oeuvre achieves a large coherence. Thus is Van Severen’s later production recognised by the sober cross-shaped compositions, which are the result of a life-long investigation into the square and rectangle.

Composition

screenprint on paper - 1963
33 x 24 cm

Composition

screenprint on paper - 1963
33 x 24 cm

Untitled

Indian ink, grey wash and pencil on paper - c. 1965
21,2 x 38,5 cm