Low-reliefs in enamelled ceramic (1979)
The work is made up of four low-reliefs, placed on frames in portico shapes on the black-veined white marble in the station hall. The combinations of faces and hands suggest the four stages of human life: birth, love, adulthood and death. The eyes and mouths form dark cracks in the lifeless grey ceramic material, whereas a brown red element in the shape of a leaf accentuates, as the only touch of colour, the monochromic nature of different shades of grey. To start with, Octave Landuyt toyed with the idea of painting white marble structures on white marble walls. In the end he found this idea absurd and created the current work of art. The representation of the four stages of human life in the work of art also confirms a constant element in the evolution of Octave Landuyt’s work, that is to say the very personal approach to reality. Initially this reality tended towards surrealism, but later on it tended more towards the exotic and even baroque.
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OCTAVE LANDUYT (Gent, 1922)
He studied at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten (Fine Arts Academy) in Kortrijk, but he is mostly self-taught. Other than painting, he also works with sculptures, visual arts, engraving, textile, drawings, jewellery design, tapestries, furniture and costumes. When his attention was also drawn to ceramics in 1958, Octave Landuyt possessed the knowledge of an experienced and versatile artist. He mastered the technique in no time. His creations are characterised by sharp contrasts. They appear as expressions of an obsessed mind, a tortured soul, a tormented imagination. Just like many Flemish artists born in the 1920s, Landuyt expresses the drama and suffering of the existence he experienced during the war. Despite the expression of anguish and an atmosphere of oppression, these works also display a plastic refinement, subtle nuances and a taste for beautiful materials.