1934 - 2018
Born in Athens (GR), born in Leopoldsburg (BE), died in Balen (BE).
Jef Geys (1934 - 2018) graduated from the Antwerp Art Academy and settled in Balen, in the Kempen region, where he worked as an art teacher at a girls school for more than 30 years. In fact, this was one of Geys's many ways to criticise society and art - a critique that is a fundamental value in its extensive, diverse and complex work.
Geys has been described as an artist stuck between a regional and international context, cut off from social reality. That is not necessarily true. In many respects, he is a disciple of Marcel Duchamp, who defended the strategy of undisclosed withdrawal. Geys has chosen to build his work on provincial references. All his exhibitions are accompanied by an issue of the newspaper Kempens Informatieblad, which he publishes himself and designs like a local, free circulation newspaper.
One of his most important strategies is subversion, which, as he rightly emphasises, can only ‘happen within the system’. In 1970, Geys was invited to prepare a solo exhibition in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He answered with a letter to the museum, - and to the Ministry of Culture, Defense and Justice - proposing to blow up the museum. Nevertheless, the exhibition took place the following year. This is characteristic of his method, which is focused on processes and seeks confrontation: Geys creates situations that are so full of contradictory potential that they threaten to inflate; by dismantling them, he shows the corrupting powers of the present reality even more compellingly.
Items View all
Uruguay - Montevideo - Ar...
Jef Geys, Uruguay - Montevideo - Architect unknown, 1991. Object, wood, plexi, 40 x 35.5 x 27 cm.
Al de zwart wit foto's to...
Jef Geys, Al de zwart wit foto's tot 1998 [All Black and White Pictures until 1998], 1998. Photography, photo, 60 x 80 cm.
Von der Wiederholung der ...
Jef Geys, Michel François, Ulli Lindmayr, Ria Pacquée, Patrick Vanden Eynde, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Bernd Lohaus, Frank F Castelyns, Jef Lambrecht, Von der Wiederholung der Träume zur Realität (cat.), 1991. Book, paper, ink (printing), A5 var..
Events View all
The collection III – Spri...
22 February 2003 - 18 May 2003.
In the first presentation, there was much room for the rather conceptually coloured core of the collection – the works from the Gordon Matta-
Bernd Lohaus – Fremdkörpe...
30 June 2015 - 26 July 2015.
THIRD PRESENTATION 30.06→26.07.2015 Von der Wiederholung der Träume zur Realität As the title suggests, this third (and final) pr
Urgent Conversations Athe...
31 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition in the long overdue public unfolding of the Greek National Museum of
Ensembles View all
The Book Lovers
The Book Lovers is a research project on the phenomenon of the artist's novel curated by David Maroto and Joanna Zielińska. The central quest
Collectie Vlaamse Gemeens...
The M HKA holds works on permanent loan that were acquired with the budget of the Vlaamse Commissie voor Beeldende Kunst (Flemish Visual Art
The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public
IE - Intercontinentaal En...
Project covering various aspects of the artistic interventions of Jef Lambrecht, sometimes along with Karel Schoetens (BIWA) and others - con