Pinakothek der Moderne
Sammlung Moderne Kunst


Raoul De Keyser is a painters’ painter. His biography isn’t particularly complicated: he was born in 1930 in Deinze, near Ghent, where he studied at the academy of the arts and lived until his death. In 1965 (at the age of 35) he had his first exhibition, but it wasn’t until 1992, when Jan Hoet invited him to participate at documenta, that his work became known to an international audience.

De Keyser’s painting is in all its phases a pledge to the power of the medium, derived from seemingly insignificant scenes from his immediate living environment. The significatory framework of painting is never up for debate, there are neither photographic models nor elaborate studies. The paintings have a great presence, since they always faithfully follow the painted line, the layering of colours, continually revealing the loss of their subject matter.

In this search for the essential, De Keyser shows himself as a late Modernist painter, but just like Blinky Palermo – 13 years his junior – his work intrigues the viewer through its humour, its playfulness and a laconicism which is now being carried forward by an even younger generation of painters (for example his compatriot Luc Tuymann).


In collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S. M. A. K.), Ghent.