Rik  Slabbinck
Bruges  1914-1991

A  Flower  Still  Life

oil on canvas
73,5 x 60,5 cm         28.9 x 23.8 in

signed lower right Slabbinck
labels with title and inevntory number on the back fleurs sur fond noir

Rik Slabbinck made his debut under the influence of the expressionism of Constant Permeke. Only later on his portraits, landscape and still-life pictures got the typical, intensely bright pure colours. The composition does have a stressed presence in his paintings. They show a perfect balance of form and content. In his work no deformations are shown, neither expressionist or non-figurative. By purifying the form Rik Slabbinck created a controlled art. His homogenous oeuvre is marked by a natural abstraction of the theme. By doing so he created a very personal style with strong and pure contrasting colours. The still-life is an important element of Slabbinck’s oeuvre because of his quest for a balanced composition. The bright colours show the form. In combination with a powerful drawing his paintings show a natural balance, reminiscent of classical compositions. Slabbinck stayed faithful to figurative art, in despite of his preference for remarkebly simplified forms and pure colours. Since the 1950’s his colours were no longer derived from reality, but determined by the composition. Rik Slabbinck showed a preference for the use of the palette-knife – which is ideal for working over large paint layers. Brushes mostly were used to create sketches in oil. In this way he created works of art with craftsmanship which exhale a strong synthetic force.
Rik Slabbinck was a pupil of the academy in his native town of Bruges and of the Sint Lucas-school in Gent. After his graduation in 1935 he met Constant Permeke. This Flemish expressionist dominated Slabbinck’s work until 1945. From this year on he abandoned the deforming expressionism and the monochrome tonalities with a subtle clair-obscur for a bright palette with warm colours. The play of shadows and the relief of the painted surface were already carefully treated. In Bruges he made himself a studio in 1938 which he continued to use for the rest of his life. In 1956 he moved into a second atelier in Brussels. In the first half of the forties he regularly met with the members of the Brussels group La route libre and participated in the annual Apport-exhibitions under the guidance of Robert L Delevoy’s Galerie Apollo. In 1945 Rik Slabbinck was one of the founders of the Brussels artist movement La jeune peinture belge. Together with his young colleagues Slabbinck tried to renew the plastic form by giving more attention to the structure. The absence of a perspective and the almost monochrome colour fields show the influence of the abstract movement. From 1963 until 1979 Rik Slabbinck had a master-class at the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Rik Slabbinck regularly showed his work from 1936 on in e.g. Antwerp, Brussels (e.g. the World Exhibition of 1958 and the Palais des beaux arts), Gent, Knokke, Liège and Ostend. He did participate in official exhibitions and had important individual expositions in Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Buenos-Aires, Cairo, Frankfurt-am-Main, The Hague, Hamburg, Köln, Lyon, Mannheim, Milan, New York, Paris, Rotterdam, Stuttgart, Turin, Utrecht and South-Africa. Slabbinck participated at the Biennials of Menton and Sao Paolo and at the Venice Biennials of 1948 and 1958. Rik Slabbinck gained numerous distinctions during his life. He was a Knight in the Order of Leopold and in the Order of the Crown and a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium.

Museums: Archief en Museum van het Vlaams Cultuurleven, Antwerp; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp; Groeningemuseum, Bruges; Collection of the Belgian State; Collection of the Flemish Community; Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels; Gemeentelijk Museum van Elsene – Musée Communale d’Ixelles, Brussels; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle; Museum of Fine Arts, Gent; Walraff-Richartzmuseum, Köln; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Liège; Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milano; Museum of Modern Art, Ostend; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Doornik; Collection of the Province West-Vlaanderen

Bibliography:
La Jeune Peinture Belge Robert L Delevoy Paris-Bruxelles 1946
Rik Slabbinck KL Elno Antwerpen 1950
Drie Vlaamse Schilders: J Godderis, L Peire & R Slabbinck Urbain Van de Voorde, Marcel Duchateau, prof Dr Jozef Muls Antwerpen 1952
Rik Slabbinck prof Dr Jozef Muls Monographies de l’art belge Anvers 1953
L’Art belge contemporain – Arts plastiques AD, Mme S Houbart-Wilkin, Mr & Mme JI D’Hondt Exposition Universelle et Internationale Palais VII Bruxelles 21/4-19/10/1958
Allgemeines Lexicon der bildenden Künstler Hans Vollmer Leipzig 1958 vol.IV
De levende kunst gezien te Venetië: XXIV Biennale 1948 – XXV Biennale 1950 – XXVI Biennale 1952 – XXVII Biennale 1954 – XXVIII Biennale 1956 André De Ridder Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België Klasse der Schone Kunsten verhandeling n°12 Brussel 1958 2 vol.
Histoire de la peinture moderne en Flandre Paul Haesaerts Brussel 1960
Vlaamse Kunst – Tweede boek Louis Lebeer Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België Brussel 1960
Peinture contemporaine en Belgique Jan Walravens Anvers 1961
Retrospectieve Tentoonstelling Rik Slabbinck Groeningemuseum Brugge 22/8-27/9/1964
Belgische schilderkunst van 1890-heden J Van Lerberghe Centraal Museum Utrecht 26/3-5/6/1966
Rik Slabbinck, Peintre Solaire Paul Caso Bruxelles 1966
Rik Slabbinck Claude Lyr Isy Brachot Gallery Brussels 21/2–17/3/1969
Het expressionisme in België Emiel Langui Brussel 1970
De Overgang 1945-1972 – Jonge Belgische Schilderkunst Stedelijk Museum Leuven 28/6-15/10/1972
Le dessin de Rik Slabbinck Louis Lebeer Bruxelles 1974
L’Art Moderne en Belgique M Eemans Bruxelles 1974
Rik Slabbinck Gaby Gyselen Tielt 1979
Rik Slabbinck, l’obsession de la couleur pure Paul Caso Bruxelles 1984
Rik Slabbinck, de kleuren van het paradijs Jos Vandeloo Brussel 1984
Rik Slabbinck Alain Viray New York 1987
Rik Slabbinck Thomas Owen & Jean-Luc de Cabrières Paris 1988
Moderne Kunst in België, 1900–1945 Robert Hoozee Antwerpen 1992
De Jonge Belgische schilderkunst, 1945-1948 Passage 44 Gemeentekrediet Brussel 25/9–22/11/1992
Rik Slabbinck Gemeentekrediet Monografieën over Vlaamse Kunst Brussel 1993
Lexicon van Westvlaamse beeldende kunstenaars vol.2 Fernand Bonneure, Beatrijs Demeester, Jaak Fontier, Willy Le Loup, Jean Pierre Esther, Frans Vromman, Gaby Gyselen, Jean Luc Meulemeester éd.Vereniging van Westvlaamse Schrijvers Kortrijk 1993
Slabbinck André Lopez Casino Kursaal Oostende juli-augustus 1994
Le Dictionnaire des Peintres Belges du XIVe siècle à nos jours E De Wilde Bruxelles 1995 vol.II
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Desinateurs et Graveurs E Bénézit vol.XII Paris 1999
Art @ Belgium collectie Gemeentekrediet Passage 44 Dexia Galerie Brussel 21/9/2000–14/1/2001


 
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