Donation of 57 works by Michel Seuphor to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
Sophie Berckelaers, granddaughter of Louis Fernand Berckelaers - better known as Michel Seuphor - is donating a number of her grandfather’s works to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA). Sophie is donating the works on behalf of her family. The Berckelaers family considers the KMSKA the ideal partner for making their grandfather’s work accessible to the general public. To the KMSKA, the donation constitutes an important contribution to its existing collection of modern art. The drawings will be put on display as inaugural presentation in the museum’s print room.
The ‘Berckelaers Donation in joint ownership 2021’ consists of 57 so-called gap drawings on paper. In this type of drawings, Seuphor uses horizontal lines of varying lengths to create shapes. A highly punctilious way of approaching art, for which Seuphor found inspiration in the work of abstract artist Piet Mondrian and the skyline of the port of Antwerp. Each of the 57 drawings stands on its own, even though some of them may also be combined to make up a larger composition.
Never before has the museum received such a large collection of work of a single abstract artist. The importance of such donations for a museum cannot be overestimated. Donations account for just under 40% of the KMSKA's total collection.
Inaugural presentation in the renovated museum
The renovated museum has a print room. A print room is a darkened, protected environment where works on paper, which are highly sensitive to light, are put on display. The print room will feature a new presentation about three times a year. The print room is a perfect place for highlighting the Seuphor donation in an inaugural presentation.
Seuphor and Antwerp
This donation can also play a role of significance for the City of Antwerp. Antwerp is Michel Seuphor's birthplace. It is where his artistic development started and where he waxed to become an artist of many talents. It was in Antwerp where he worked as a poet, a critic, art historian and visual artist. Moreover, Seuphor was a key figure in modernism in both Antwerp and Europe. Just before the First World War, he founded the modernist, avant-garde magazine Het Overzicht.
Read more about the life and oeuvre of Michel Seuphor.