His work

Louis Van Gorp had the talent to create a complex universe with a few brush strokes. He was fascinated by light, reflection and the richness of colour variations. He consciously and explicitly chose to follow the path of figurative painting, as a way of genuine craftsmanship. He strongly believed in the concept of “slow art”: taking the time to compose, to get to know the subject in its entire perspective and in all its feelings, and to fine-tune each square centimeter in symbiosis with the colour palette of the full composition. All of this led to intimate, realistic and multi-layered paintings in which the texture of the paint itself adds a unique dimension.

His belief in “slow art” did not mean, however, that he only produced a small oeuvre. He invested each free hour, each day, each holiday, in his art, 365 days a year. Even when he had a cold (which rarely happened), he continued working in his studio. This devotion resulted in a large oeuvre, consisting of numerous paintings, drawings and etchings.

Detail of human figure

He spent his life exploring the universal themes of figurative art: the beauty of nature, the human body and family life. He did not paint them from or as photographs, but – if one looks closely – as abstract compositions of brush or palette knife strokes. Only from a distance, it becomes clear that the most intriguing faces are hidden in the structure of the strokes.

In 1962-63, Louis Van Gorp studied etching, a specific technique he practised for a long time. Along with the many pencil and charcoal drawings, they form a highly valued but rarely exhibited part of his oeuvre.

Etching ‘Edge of a forest‘, n° 8 of 15

It was only later in his career, in the mid-nineties, that Louis Van Gorp started painting official state portraits of queens, kings and admirals. He managed to capture the long time his famous models spent posing in his art studio in a single colourful image. The long conversations he had with his models resulted in intimate, peaceful and timeless portraits.

Design of the portrait of King Albert II


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