Text by Steven Jacobs
This substantial new volume offers a broad and representative picture of the oeuvre of the important Belgian painter Raoul De Keyser, who began his artistic career in the mid-1960s but did not gather international recognition for his abstract canvases until the late 1980s. Consequently, much of his early work was never documented. For this volume, author Steven Jacobs spent years charting the early work, tracking it down, and having it photographed. More than two-thirds of De Keyser's previously unseen work is documented here for the first time, alongside the artist's most important works, and many canvases made since 2000. Of De Keyser's 2004 exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, Artforum's Michael Wilson wrote, "De Keyser has often been described as a "painter's painter," which might seem like faint praise but is accurate enough: The pleasures offered by his work are distinctly grown-up, unspectacular, refined, and satisfying. The influence of Miró and Klee is undeniable, but De Keyser remains contemporary in his concentration on the fragmentary and the left-behind, in his implicit acknowledgment of the impossibility of permanence or completion. His palette is timely too, often sharing celebrated countryman Luc Tuymans's dusty greens, pinks, and creams."