JAN BURSSENS (1925 – 2002)
Jan Burssens trained at the Academies in Mechelen and Ghent. He produced figurative paintings with an expressionist touch and then moved more towards lyrical abstraction. He was a founding member of “Art Abstrait”(Abstract Art). But he left this artistic group only a year later. He intuitively felt that pictorial reasoning based on nonfigurative, strictly constructive principles could not satisfy him as
an artist. A grant from UNESCO enabled him to travel to the US and stay in New York. This trip left
a clear mark on his work and his style tended towards more and more recognisable figuration.
He painted a series of portraits: John F. Kennedy, Adolf Hitler and Marilyn Monroe. From the 1960s tonwards, landscapes also featured in Jan Burssens’s work. He also included other materials in his paintings, such as sand, stones, gravel and various pieces of debris. However, he limited his use of these materials since for a real painter, paint is the main element and is an unsurpassed medium.