The early work of Jozef Mees (1898-1987) was influenced by the Flemish Expressionists with monumental and structured figures or landscapes. He was friends with Frits Van den Berghe, owning several of his works. From the 1950s onwards, already in his fifties, Mees turned to abstraction. The bark-like structure in temperamental and whimsical compositions is related to American action painting. The emergence of the Jeune Peinture Belge, a Brussels group of young painters who wanted to put the visual arts on a new track, also provided inspiration for Mees.
In 1969, Mees became an official member of the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens’ board of directors. Together with the mayor of Sint-Martens-Latem Antoon De Pesseroey, he was tasked with organising temporary exhibitions with contemporary artists.
In 1988, Jan Hoet wrote about Mees in the catalogue of the retrospective: “He continues to vibrate, a terrible fellow, a mighty tree of a fellow, who at the same time (as Willem Enzinck once wrote) retained the mobility of the garden bird that bears his name [Mees is Dutch for titmouse] and which flies from branch to branch with a shrill cry.”
- This work is part of the museum’s main collection. It was included in the inventory of the donation from Jules and Irma Dhondt-Dhaenens that was compiled at the board meeting on 19.04.1969.