Marcel-Henri Verdren (Brussels,1933 – Ostend,1976) studied architecture at La Cambre in Brussels. During the 1950s, he worked at the Parisan studio Atelier 17, under the direction of British graphic artist Stanley William Hayter. In the early 1960s, Verdren returned to Ostend from Paris, where he became good friends with Jo Delahaut, Guy Vandenbranden and Gilbert Decock. From 1962, he exhibited repeatedly at the Brussels cult gallery Saint-Laurent and at Galerie Drieghe in Wetteren. Verdren represented Belgium at the Paris Biennale of 1965.
In 1964, the poet and art critic Roland Jooris wrote about Verdren’s work:
“M.H. Verdren had become an architect of light, given an uncommon clarity and purity within the play of white (…). The infinite vibrations and movements of light did not leave him. His Phaso-luminous painting was born.’’
In 1966, he was given a solo exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts Bruxelles. He received This was followed by several solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Italy and elsewhere.
In 1965, together with the artists Henri Gabriel, Emiel Bergen, Gilbert Decock and Victor Noël, Verdren founded the group ‘D4’, whose name referred to the four dimensions: optics, space, light and movement. With the entry of Jo Delahaut in 1966, the group’s name changed and they chose the meaningful name ‘Geoform’.
Together with Jean Dubois, Francis Dusépulchre, Victor Noël, Michel Renard and André Goffin, he founded the group ‘Art Concret’ in 1973.
Known for his powerful and subtle geometric paintings in black and white, Verdren is finally being exhibited in Belgium again after many years. Verdren’s work is in several private and public collection including those of the Belgian State, Muzee Ostend, Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Det Faste Galleri Trondheim and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.