De vrouw, 1958

oil on panel
1820 x 702 x 18 mm

In 1943, Jan Burssens was an apprentice of the late-Flemish expressionist Hubert Malfait. Not much later, his work gradually evolved towards the non-figurative. He used colourful layers of paint – sometimes mixed with fine gravel and sand – that form a lush and sensory whole. De Vrouw from 1958 betrays, just like Jozef Mees’ 1962 Compositie, the influence of action painting.

Burssens’ stay in America in 1958 left its mark on his work and he gradually returned to figuration. Entirely in the spirit of the French philosopher Sartre, Burssens wanted to give wordless painting a new voice, starting primarily from the material itself.

  • 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 03.06.1967.

Irma Dhondt-Dhaenens in the salon during the official opening in 1968 with De ridder by Jan Burssens on the left in the background.
Foto: Cedric Verhelst,, courtesy van de kunstenaar.