Luc Peire

Luc Peire, born in Brugges, Belgium in 1916 and died in Paris, France in 1994. He was an important Belgian pioneer of postwar abstract painting. Mostly known for his abstract verticalism: his paintings and sculptures primarily organized by vertical lines, they have a tendency to reach out, which symbolizes man as a spiritual being.

He studies at Sint-Lucas Ghent and the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where Gustave Van de Woestyne escorted him personally. He became acquainted with Permeke, which had a big impact on Luc as an artist and expressionist. But gradually he began looking for a more universal character to portait human figures in their essence. So he ended up with total abstraction, where the human aspect is reflected in the spirituality of the form.

Peire was a socially engaged man and met manny like-minded artists on his travels all over the world. But the spiritual symbolism of African art, which he studied in (then) Belgian Congo and South Africa, was his greatest influence.

With his black and white ‘graphy’ as his trademark artform, Luc Peire attained the essence of his advanced verticalism. He applied this model of rhythmic optical art in his three mirror environments (1967, 1968 and 1973), attaining as ultimate consequence the climax of his artistic search: the infinite (l’infini) and space (l’espace).

Peire was soon establishing an international reputation with notable exhibitions including in 1962 Biennale de Tokyo; 1965 Museum of Modern, Art Rio de Janeiro; 1966 New York; 1967 Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris; 1967 Museum of Stamford, USA; 1968 Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno Mexico, and Venice Biennale; 1969 Museum Boymans Van Beuningen Rotterdam; 1971 Royal Museum, Brussells; 1973 Auckland Art Museum, New Zealand.

Luc Peire’s suggested the vertical line as infinite space, but it also as thinking and man reaching to heaven. He saw it as vertical activity, entrance, fight; for him, and life itself. Horizontal meant passivity, rest, and death.

“Time to reflect is essential for a creative artist.”

- Luc Peire -