1962 - 2021
Gallery De Vuyst sprouted from the ambition of one man: Gaston De Vuyst.
Since 1962, De Vuyst has offered a wide and selected range of paintings, watercolors, drawings, sculptures and prints. Three international auctions of Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary art are organized every year.
Gaston De Vuyst (1910-1992)
Being interested in art and creativity he personally met and admires quite some Belgian artists in Brussels and Antwerp in the twenties and thirties.
He gets to know collectors such as Gustave Van Geluwe – from whom he receives his training as a master-tailor- and visites galleries like “The Centaure”. This is a centre of modernism which not only enables a breakthrough of Flemish expressionism but organizes exhibitions as well of a.o. René Magritte, Hans Arp, Max Ernst, Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Joan Miró.
The young art lover also keeps a close track of the auctions at Gallery Georges Giroux.
Assured of the succession in the clothes shop he and his wife Diane Geerinck (1914-2008) had built up, he fully devotes himself to the art trade, thus following his lifelong passion.
In a building next to the clothes shop, rebuilt for the purpose of an exhibition space, Gaston De Vuyst, at the time 52 years old, opens his first Art Gallery (Kerkstraat 48). Soon, through years of contacts with the art scene, Gallery De Vuyst grows to more than just a place artists can dispose of.
Up to 10 exhibitions a year are organised. Selection and choice of artists and works of art are decided by the gallery owner, assisted by his daughter Huguette De Vuyst. There are personal exhibitions of a.o. Edgard Tytgat, Frans Masereel, Léon De Smet, Roger Raveel, Louis Van Lint.
Thematic as well as group exhibitions a.o. one dedicated to “The Centaure”.
On the exhibition posters there were a.o. “Oscar Jespers” and “Contemporary Painting in France”. Also the first auction poster was printed that year.
In 1976 son Guy De Vuyst will lead his first auction.
So many works are offered for sale at the so-called ‘Salons’ that the activities have to be expanded: the first auction takes place. Due to great success, 4 auctions a year are conducted. Today there are 3 auctions a year presenting important national and international artists from the 17th century onwards.
Along with the growth of the gallery and its auction activities the expansion of the buildings is at hand.
Next to the original rooms the auction room is built (Kerkstraat 24-46) as well as several offices, a book shop, a coffee house, storage areas and a sculpture garden.
Gaston’s daughter Andréa De Vuyst and his son Guy De Vuyst join the team in 1982.
The big thematic exhibition “Barbizon, 19th century landscape painting” is a crowd puller.
On the auction of April 20, 1985 Magritte’s “Madame Recamier de David”, one of his eight sculptures, is sold for 12.650.000 BF (€ 310.000) to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, a record price for this sculpture.
The premises at number 54, a building dating from 1750, are renovated and made suitable for contemporary art, now known as “De Vuyst Contemporary”. The first exhibitions are dedicated to “Keith Haring” and “Joseph Beuys”.
Gaston’s daughter-in-law Pascale De Vuyst-Philips joins the team in the same year.
More renovations are done (Kerkstraat 22) creating additional exhibition rooms, a library, a photo studio and more storage areas. This literally doubles the gallery’s surface area. A strong team is made up with co-workers Thierry Lacroix, Hervé Lescornez, Renaat Sapyn a.o. who built up an experience of more than 20 years within the gallery.
A conscious selection of works of all periods based on artistic criteria and the endless possibilities of the internet are making the auctions increasingly more international.
Among Belgian artists, remarkable results are shown for works of a.o. Paul Delvaux (“Les Louves” was sold for € 527.000), Théo Van Rysselberghe, Emile Claus, Alfred Stevens, Panamarenko, Roger Raveel, Pierre Alechinsky, James Ensor, Raoul De Keyser, Wim Delvoye...
Belgian as well as international collectors are very active in Lokeren, as buyer and as seller. They much appreciate the offer ranging from Camille Claudel, Lucio Fontana and Wifredo Lam to Warhol and Zao Wou-Ki. Also works of less-known artists but highly estimated among collectors of contemporary art can be found: Equipo Crónica, Xiang Jing, Alexandre Fassianos or Liu Jianhua.
Grandson Tom De Vuyst joins the team and together with his father, he now conducts the sales. Among the first works that he sold from the rostrum there was a candle-soot drawing of 1961 by the Italian artist Piero Manzoni “Linea” estimated at € 10.000 - € 16.000 which achieved 36.000 € and a kinetic sculpture of 1962 by Pol Bury “Retractile”, which fetched € 70.000.
Buildings and activities are again expanded. A new art gallery (Kerkstraat 48-50) is opened in the premises where the clothing business stopped its activities after 79 years. Here the permanent collection and a selection of renowned national and international artists are shown. There have been exhibitions of Hilde Van Sumere, Reinhoud and of Marie Julia Bollansée, video- and performance artist.
A new piece of the premises is the Icons Designshop. Next to the gallery and its auctions, also designer objects are offered. True to the 55 years of De Vuyst tradition the Icons designshop brings top quality with an eye for detail and presentation. Designer objects have their functionality but at the same time they reflect an aesthetic and creative aspect. Icons presents a selection of creations by top-designers, icons in the world of design, as well as new talent.
The buildings are expanded once again. You can now walk from the main auction hall into the Cube: a new exhibition area measuring 14 by 15 metres. The impressive height of no less than 7 meters catches the daylight through two north-facing shed roofs.
The monumental staircase leads to a floating gallery with railings in transparent glass. A generous volume with surprising perspectives. But above all, a look at the artworks from every point of view.