Jan Burssens [1925-2002]

Venus of Nagasaki II, 1959, oil paint on wooden panel, 160 x 100 cm

Burssens, a painter from Ghent, came from a background with academics. He studied at the academies from Mechelen and Ghent (where he would later start teaching) but sought out his own way. His first works with expressionistic angles, show the influence of Frits Van den Berghe. In 1949 he exhibited at the salon Apport 49from Delevoy, with a catalogue introduced by Dotremont, and which also mentions the work of Alechinsky and Claus.

Burssens was a founding member of the Groupe Art Abstrait (1952), but left the group when a disagreement occurred. In his characteristic ‘impasto’ works his lyric preferences are abundantly addressed. In 1947 he already processed unusual materials such as sand and lacquer into his paintings. The ‘colourful layers of paint from the works of 1952-62 are an outing of vibrant energy.