Jan Dries

1925 (Mol, Belgium) – 2014 (Zoersel, Belgium)

Jan Dries was a founding member of G58 and of De Nieuwe Vlaamse School. He makes a name for himself in the 1950s with his autonomous ceramic sculptures. Following his philosophical nature, he seeks a path he has already entered through photography in which a fascination for the light arose. He aims for pure forms in which color gives way to a gift of light; he has mainly chosen white marble since plastering images since the early 1960s. “… Light and dark determine what I want to include in the marble into a form. The light gets its own life through the inspiration in a certain volume. The changeability of light within the characteristic of the form is the other of the one that is represented by space. One is the other. Such an image that has been brought to a light balance has essentially a meditative appearance, a kind of all-time: an indefinable ownness that has created an a-dimensional space in time … ” The specific view of Jan Dries on art can be found in his own language-bound way in the choice of titles for his works: om-dat, lichtvaart, full, together being one, between both, … Jan Dries is the first artist to undertake an intervention in the field of a Belgian museum in 1974 and realizes in Middelheim with earth and grass his ‘meditative space to be himself’, which in 1986 is integrated by him in the Theaterplein at the Stadsschouwburg in Antwerp ( 36 × 36 m, destroyed in 2007). In 1986 he received the Flemish Community Prize in recognition of his artistic career, in 1987 the Knight in the Crown Order, and in 2016 the honorary citizenship of the municipality of Zoersel. You can find works by Jan Dries in collections of governments and in various museums in the Netherlands and abroad, it has been integrated into the public space in several places, and was purchased for private and corporate collections.