Leon Spilliaert (1881-1946) The Belgian Leon Spilliaert was born in Ostend in 1881 and lived and worked there. He was an exceptional talent who did not wish to align himself to a particular artistic movement but achieved in his solitude an unique and compelling perspective. Spilliaert worked almost entirely on paper, only a small number of canvases have been found, utilising pastel, watercolour, gouache, pencil and crayon. He is renowned for his early symbolist work depicting Ostend at night in black, white and shades of grey. Always adept with colour, however, he began to develop this skill throughout the 1920s reflecting expressionist, surrealist and fauve influences until the majestic trees of Brussels filled the years before his death in 1946. Spilliaert has long been appreciated in Belgium and his work is now beginning to receive the international interest he has long deserved. Olivier Fayt has assisted museums and institutions in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Japan and Greece in bringing Spilliaert to the international public.
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