The Artist Birthday Series

Paul Joostens

Poster for the Flemish Primitive exhibition in 1902 that deeply affected the young Joostens
Poster for the Flemish Primitive exhibition in 1902 that deeply affected the young Joostens

On the advice of his father, he began an internship with the Gothic-inspired architect Max Winders . He studied fine art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp, with classmates which would later acquire some degree of fame: Joseph Peeters , Floris Jespers and Oscar Jespers . After his studies at the academy, he joined the Antwerp Avantgarde. He was for a short time an impressionist, but it was a style that he quickly abandoned.

Pioneers of the Belgian Avant Garde: (standing) Michel Seuphor, (sitting, left to right) Edgar de Perron, Paul Joostens, and Joseph Peeters
Pioneers of the Belgian Avant Garde: (standing) Michel Seuphor, (sitting, left to right) Edgar de Perron, Paul Joostens, and Joseph Peeters

From 1916 he experienced a rapid evolution from symbolism to futurism and then to cubism , sometimes in combination with elements of the ancient art he had seen as a child. He withdrew from Expressionism as he felt it didn’t suit his vision, despite the fact that is was then the dominant art movement in Belgium.

Untitled cubist abstract painting by Paul Joostens, c. 19 (sitter unidentified)
Untitled cubist abstract painting by Paul Joostens, c. 1916 (sitter unidentified)

 

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