Jef Geys

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Jef Geys
Born (1934-05-29)29 May 1934
Died 12 February 2018(2018-02-12) (aged 83)
Nationality Belgian
Education photography, painting, experimental education, print

Jef Geys (29 May 1934 – 12 February 2018) was a Belgian artist born in Leopoldsburg, Belgium.[1] Geys is known for his photography, painting, sculpture, films, installation art, publishing activities, and experimentation in art education.

Geys grew up in Faytlaan, Leopoldsburg and attended school at the Brothers of Love.[1] He studied in the Academy of Antwerp under Piet Serneels, Maclot, Dolphyn and Strebelle, then gained a teaching diploma from the state school of Hasselt before starting work teaching in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe.[1] In 1960, Geys was an appointed Teacher of Positive Aesthetics at a children's school in Balen until he left the position in 1989. The school focused on the educational experimentation in the arts, and included an studio and exhibition space, and arts laboratory.[2][3]


Geys is known for the strong social and political motives of his work. He is perhaps best known for his proposal to blow up the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (KMSKA) in Antwerp in 1971 at the end of his solo exhibition held there.[4]

In a letter to the Minister of Culture from November 1970, which was published later in the catalog Ooidonk 78, Geys described his plans about the explosion of the KMSKA as follows: "Departing from the idea that every society, authority, institution, organization, person, etc. includes the seeds of its own destruction, the first and most important task of every society, authority, etc. in my opinion is to recognize, isolate and neutralize these seeds. The most efficient way to achieve all this then seems to me to systematically, scientifically and deliberately set about the problem. […] So I would like to start a project, which, if executed, would result in the destruction of the Museum voor Schone Kunsten."[5]

Kempens Informatieblad[edit]

In 1971, Geys took on the freely-distributed newspaper Kempens Informatieblad which was a local publication in Kempen, Belgium, which is also called Campine (French). Geys prints and distributes Kempens house-to-house, and often produces them in line with his exhibitions.[2] Geys is also known for having created a meticulous archive of his own work and Kempens since 1958, though the archive has been made inaccessible to all but the artist himself.[6]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "M HKA, Martin Douven, Leopoldsburg, Jef Geys 09.09 > 31.12.11" (PDF). 5 September 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Jef Geys, Belgian Pavilion, 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia" (PDF). 21 April 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2013. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Afterall • Journal • The Really Ignorant Schoolmaster: Jef Geys, Amongst Many Others". Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "ScherpteDiepte". Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Jef Geys 1978, 'Letter to the Minister of Dutch Culture' (November 11, 1970), in: Ooidonk 78, exh. cat., 101.
  6. ^ a b c d Luk Lambrecht. "Belgian Pavilion: Jef Geys". Metropolis M. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Planted Stories: Jef Geys Touches Down in Detroit". Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Mike Powell (October 2010). "Frieze Magazine – Jef Geys". Archived from the original on 2013-06-24. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Jef Geys – Retrospectieve-Introspectie" (PDF). Galerie Erna Hecey. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "What Are We Having for Dinner Tonight?". Witte de With. 15 October 1993. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 

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