It was a simple design but created with enough precision to be observed in its entirety in a quick glance thanks to the clarity of the overall image. In the same composition we find horizontal, vertical, oblique and curved lines, squares, rectangles, triangles, segments of circles and seven different colours. The interpretation of the work of art is dependant on the state of mind of the observer, who can see it as a flat surface or in three dimensions. The work of art is clearly a personal expression in terms of composition and use of colour. “Ortem” is situated above a staircase. When descending towards the platforms, the observer can take in the whole work of art with one glance, thanks to the overall clarity of the work. Above all, Jean Rets did not want his work to “disappear” into its surroundings but to stand out from them and attract attention.
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JEAN RETS (1910 – 1998)
Jean Rets was a member of the APIAW (Association pour le Progrès Intellectuel et Artistique de la Wallonie), an association very similar to “Jeune Peinture Belge” (Young Belgian painting), which had the aim of opening up art to the contemporary international and progressive movements. Rets was already open to cubism before the war. From the 1950s onwards, Jean Rets developed a personal language of shapes and a refined use of colour. Rets is best known for his non-figurative geometric designs, to which he adds a refined touch, in his monumental works of art and through the integration of visual arts into architecture. He has mostly active in the area around Liège, designing a stained-glass window in Guillemins train station and performing a colour study for the steel factory Thomas,Cockerill- Ougrée. Jean Rets also worked with sculpture, in which light plays a structuring role.