RemarksDuring the exhibition set-up in the Begijnhof in Hasselt in 1973, part (A) of this polyptych, of originally 5 parts, was stolen. The stolen canvas has never been recovered to date. There are no known images of it.
Exhibition"Raoul De Keyser" Provinciaal Begijnhof, Hasselt 1973
Provenanceprivate coll., Deinze, acquired directly from the artist by the father of the present owner
NOTEBOOK I (1972-73)
Coincidence or not, through the window of his studio in Deinze De Keyser enjoyed the view of the neighboring football field. The green terrain and the white chalk lines were the artist's daily surroundings. He watched countless times as the grass was structured in sections with chalk - like a composition on the painter's canvas. This simple act permitted a new reality to the area within which the game of football could take place. Football and art were the two great loves of De Keyser. Initially a sports journalist for various newspapers, he starts his career as an artist a late bloomer. Both passions melt together in work as "Notebook I" (1972-73).
De Keyser casts everyday reality into an aesthetic motif. He focuses on recognizable forms and extremely simplifies them. By doing so he profoundly abstracts his representation of an ordinary environment. The abstraction is pushed even further by conceiving the work as a polyptych, thus shifting the focus to the artwork as an object an Sich.
Above all, his paintings represent themselves, i.e. their inherent nature and autonomy: the support and the pictorial layer. The abstraction of the subject enables the painter to reflect on the autonomy of the medium. The chalk lines and color planes focus our attention on the paint and the canvas, on color and perspective. Moreover, the plain of the football field refers to the two-dimensionality of the painting, the line drawing refers to the execution of a pictorial act. At the same time, the opening of the work into a multiple part piece, questions this two-dimensionality. The work imposes itself onto the viewer's actual surroundings.