Walter Leblanc (1932 – 1986)

The Belgian artist Walter Leblanc played a pioneering role in European art in the post-war period. The artist garnered international attention especially with his Torsions. Leblanc can be classified without question alongside the big names of the Zero movement, whose network extended from Germany, Belgium and Italy right across Switzerland. As one of the pioneers of contemporary art production, abstraction is a focal point of his work, as is the relationship between materiality and light. To underscore this connection and implement it in his works, Leblanc used unusual materials such as sand, cotton threads, latex. PVC and metal. His work should not, however, be defined simply as geometrical abstraction. Instead one could speak of a sensory geometry or order. For in his works basic geometrical forms become stringent constructive, rhythmical compositions by means of systematic superimposition, staggering, juxtaposition and torsion. 

1932 Born in Antwerp

 Studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp

1955-56 Studied at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp

1956 Married Nicole Labedz

1958 Founded the artists’ group G58

1959 Torsion becomes the most important pictorial and graphic element in his work

1961 First major solo exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels

1962 Leblanc becomes a member of the international artists group NEUE TENDENZ

1964 Integrates his works into architecture for the first time

1975 The work group Archétypes

1977/1986 Taught at the Institut d’Architecture et d’Urbanism in Antwerp

1981/1986 Created the work for the Simonis métro station in Brussels

1986 Walter Leblanc died on 14 January in Silly after a fatal accident 

1961 Walter Leblanc, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

1962 Anti-Peinture, G58 Hessenhuis, Antwerp

1964 Propositions visuelles du mouvement international Nouvelle Tendance, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris

1965 The Responsive Eye, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

           Licht und Bewegung/Kinetische Kunst, Kunsthalle Bern, Berne

           Lumière, Mouvement et Optique, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

           Licht und Bewegung/Kinetische Kunst, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden und Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf

1966 Weiss auf Weiss, Kunsthalle Bern, Berne

1968 Walter Leblanc: Torsions, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

1970 35. Venice Biennale

1979 Zero Internationaal , Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerp

1985 Eine Europaïsche Bewegung Bilder und Objekte aus der Sammlung Lenz Schönberg, Museum Carolino Augusteum, Salzburg

1986 Königliche Museen der Schönen Künste, Brussels

1989 Walter Leblanc Retrospektive, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen

1990 40 ans de Jeune Peinture Belge Regard contemporain sur un choix historique, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

1998 Kunst im Aufbruch Abstraktion zwischen 1945 und 1959, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen

2001 Walter Leblanc, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent

2003 Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

2004 Zero. Die Europäische Vision  - 1958  bis Heute, Sammlung Lenz Schönberg, Museum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Zagreb

2006 ZERO. Künstler einer europäischen Bewegung. Sammlung Lenz Schönberg 1956–2006, Museum der Moderne Salzburg

           ZERO – Internationale Künstler-Avantgarde der 50er/60er Jahre , Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf

2011 Walter Leblanc, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels

2014 Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City

2015 Zero: The international art movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

           Zero: Let us Explore the Stars , Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

2016 Walter Leblanc, Jef Verheyen: Dialogue with Light, Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels

2017 Biennale Socle du Monde, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art


          A Tribute to the Responsive Eye, Galerie Dierking, Zürich