Francis Alÿs

1959 · Belgium

Artist biography

Francis Alÿs is an established contemporary visual artist, who was born in Belgium. Francis Alÿs was born in 1959. Some of the artist's contemporaries that are born around the same year and in the same country include Luc Tuymans and Francis Alÿs.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Francis Alÿs' work is available on display in multiple galleries around the globe such as in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the United States. Some of those galleries are David Zwirner | London in the United Kingdom, Jan Mot in Belgium, as well as Parkett Exhibition Space | Zurich in Switzerland. Francis Alÿs most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Artangel in London with the exhibition Francis Alÿs in Cincinnati . The exhibition was open from 09 May 2018 until 17 September 2019. Francis Alÿs' other most recent exhibitions recorded on Artland include the exhibitions; The Unending Gift (07 September 2018 - 06 October 2018) at Meessen De Clercq in Brussels and Houses (06 September 2018 - 21 December 2018) at Galerie Michel Rein in Brussels. Francis Alÿs' first listed exhibition in Artland's database was called Francis Alÿs in Cincinnati and took place at Artangel in London, the United Kingdom from the 09 May 2018 to 17 September 2019.

Historical Context of Belgium

Surrounded by France and the Netherlands, the small country of Belgium has been significantly influenced by its neighbours throughout time and affirmed itself as an exciting and inventive artistic hub in the second half of the nineteenth century. Belgian art productions were essential in the developing of Surrealism in the 1930s, primarily through the works of Rene Magritte and Paul Delvaux. Among others, Marcel Broodthaers, Wim Delvoye, Francis Alys and Luc Tuymans are key figures of the Belgian art scene of the twentieth century. Highly influenced by Belgian artists, the Symbolist movement was a prominent artistic trend, early precursor to Surrealism, and including artists such as Léon Spilliaert, Jean Delville, Fernand Khnopff and James Ensor. As the age of the avant-garde began to take place in Europe towards the end of the nineteenth century, Brussels turned into a hub for the Art Nouveau movement, which included the architect Victor Horta amongst its creators.

Further Biographical Context for Francis Alÿs

Born in 1959, Francis Alÿs grew up during the 1970s and was influenced by the artistic atmosphere of the time. Conceptualism is often perceived as a response to Minimalism, and the leading art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that ensued were all characteristic of a strong desire to evolve and strengthen the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous 1960s. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, including some of its most essential aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outsides, initiating early philosophies of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given another chance for the first time since the weakening of Abstract Expressionism almost two decades, the genre reclaimed its prominence through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the critically acclaimed artists from the 1960s, who had gained success and fame, kept their status in the 1970s. Andy Warhol was a prominent figure of those two decades, and in the 1970s started to experiment with film and magazine publishing, thus engaging in a cross-platform activity that no other visual artist OF his standard had previously undertaken. By doing so, he secured his status as a celebrity. Street art started to emerge as a true and recognized form of art towards the end of the 1970s. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were pioneers in proving that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Fuelled by graffiti art, street art from its earliest days proved that it could endure in a unceasing flux of self-transformation, endlessly shifting the limits of modern art, becoming a truly ground-breaking artistic genre.

Francis Alÿs

  • Exhibitions 8

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