The Gaston Bertrand Award

In a rider to his testament, Gaston Bertrand expressed the wish that the Foundation would create an award in his name and assign it, in his own words,” to a Belgian artist being at least 45 years old and having developed his own personal approach and means in order to depict his inner world”.

The Executive Board constituted the jury for the first edition of the Gaston Bertrand Award in 1999. Six artists have been awarded to this day:

  • Boris Semenoff, at the Ecuries Royales, Brussels, from 20 October to 7 November 1999.
  • Francis De Bolle, at the Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels, from 21 October 2007 to 27 January 2008.
  • Christian Rolet, at the Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels, from 2 March to 25 April 2010.
  • Camille De Taeye, at the Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels, from 6 March to 27 May 2012.
  • Jacques Zimmermann, at the Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels, from 28 November 2014 to 25 January 2015.
  • Gisèle Van Lange, at the Toison dor Gallery, from 30 June to 27 August 2016.
  • Dominiq Fournal, The Auction House Cornette de Saint Cyr Brussels, from 13 to 20 September 2018.

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Dominiq Fournal
Auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr, Brussels
From 13 to 20 September 2018.

Dominiq Fournal first studied advertising at the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels from 1973 to 1977 and started his painting studies in 1976 at the Academy of Fine arts of Wavre and then at the Royal Academy of Fine arts of Brussels from 1979 to 1983. To this day, Domoniq Fournal’s work has been characterized by generous and abstract ranges of colours, from which some meditative feelings arise.
Dominiq Fournal was inspired by his readings and travels, mainly in Africa where he was born in 1956, in Boma, former Belgian Congo. From these experiences, Dominiq Fournal keeps the poetic vertigo that he felt and translates it into vibrations and colourful dazzles.
He taught painting at the Academy of Fine arts of Wavre from 1989 to 2004 and is now Director of the academy.
His works are in many collections, including the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, the ULB contemporary art museum (Brussels), the L Museum of Louvain-la-Neuve (Serge Goyens de Heusch donation) and the Walloon Brabant province. He was awarded the prize from the Charles Swyncop Foundation in 1997 and the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre Arts Prize in 1999. Since 2010, he has made several theatre scenographies, including for the play t’Serclaes, written by William Cliff and staged at the Theatre Poème 2 in Brussels.

“Through its reflections, the interplays of light and even sometimes through the structures, the work of Dominiq Fournal, although no identity is really detectable, usually gives the feeling of a silent but active presence which is actually not the translation of an image but rather the mere translation of life, transcribed with an indescribable richness. These paintings are breathing and transfiguring; they are full of emotions which eventually provide a true enjoyment of being …”
Claude Lorent,
La Libre Culture
, January 2008

Gisèle Van Lange
Toison d'Or Gallery, Brussels
From 30 June to 27 August 2016

Inspired by Nature, Gisèle van Lange explores the complexity of the vegetal, animal and mineral world. She captures the will to metamorphose and the germination, deterioration and decay power. Since the 60’s, through drawing and painting, Gisèle Van Lange expresses the mutation of the forms in their intermediary status, this vegetal abundance that confers onto her work a dynamic and trembling atmosphere.

“Today, I have the feeling that my paintings are increasingly moving towards some sort of expansion, of dispersal to the very edges. This proliferation must however be oriented toward the search for the third dimension. In this context, colour is becoming increasingly important, purer, more contrasted or intense. I like the surfaces to meet in diverse directions, in order for the forms to interweave one with the other, with knots giving the impression of containing vital energy, next to smoother areas, which creates a back-and-forth movement in space”. Gisèle Van Lange


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Jacques Zimmermann

Jacques Zimmermann
Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels
From 28 November 2014 to 25 January 2015

Jacques Zimmermann was born in Hoboken in 1929 and took art history and technique courses at the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels.
He is a self-taught painter and first practiced sculpture and created theatre decors.
In 1957, he joined the collective plastic adventure of the international group Phases, which has a neo-surrealist approach at the intersection between figuration and abstraction. Jacques Zimmermann explored then a powerfully dreamlike world which lies at the crossroads between invented forms and imaginary landscapes.
By combining vegetal impressions and mineral allusions, these landscapes define imperious lanceolate trajectory pointing to the sky or horizontally cutting the space as if they were affected by gusts or volcanic outbursts.
Those fantastic landscapes are even more evocative and expressive as they refrain from any illusionist impulses and leave the space to the sole expression of purely invented forms, beyond the glimmering spectres, as well as of the power of materials and colours.
His work is part of many private and public collections in Belgium and abroad, such as the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (Brussels) and the Phoenix Modern Art Museum (United States).



Camille De Taeye
Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels
From 2 March to 25 April 2010

Camille De Taeye was born in Brussels in 1938 and started his career as a painter in the 60’s. Nourished by the progressive teaching of Gaston Bertrand at the Saint-Luc Institute of Brussels from 1958 to 1962, before he took himself the lead of the master’s painting workshop from 1964 to 1971, Camille De Taeye found his way in the collection of contradictory images which consolidate his idea that poetic truth can be achieved through unpredictable encounters. Just like in surrealism, the completed work incarnates the unreal, the irrational, the fantasy, while using all the realistic references of our world.
As a magician, a master of illusion with incomparable velvety, Camille De Taeye shows the improbable, the senseless and the inexistence. His works, giving a very clear documentary feel, are just like dreams: they contain inventions and anxieties.
Everyday objects, products of nature, landscapes, mountains, hybrid or fragmentary characters, which are incongruously close, constantly go beyond the limits of plausibility in order to suggest an unexpected, enigmatic and poetic view of the world.
His works are part of many public collections, including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Ixelles Museum, The Museum of Louvain-la-Neuve and a monumental painting installed in the Eddy Merckx subway station in Brussels.


Christian Rolet
Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels
From 2 March to 25 April 2010

Chritian Rolet (1945) is a plastic artist and teaches pictorial and three-dimensional research at the Academy of Fine Arts of Tournai. He was the student of Jean Guiraud, Gaston Bertrand and Camille De Taeye at the Saint-Luc Institute of Brussels.
His work continuously questions and deeply examines the ambiguity related to the non-narrative representation of objects and their purely pictorial evocation. Bodies transformed into shapes, dematerialized objects and the interplay of shadows and lights all derive from extensive plastic investigations. Furthermore, a real alchemy lies in the way in which the artist has been exploring, over the last years, various materials (wax, sand, glass powder and talc) and mixing the pigments to these. This confers to his works some surprising iridescent, velvety or rough aspects. Over time, figures and subjects become misty shapes. His work has an abstract dimension, concise and contrasted, where mesmerizing radiant red colours are combined with deep blue and cold faded greys.
Christian Rolet has won multiple awards (e.g. the Godecharle award, the Hainanut Province prize, the Rome Prize and the Artot award) and his work is part of many public and private collections.


Francis De Bolle
Rouge-Cloître Art Centre, Brussels
From 21 October 2007 to 27 January 2008

Francis De Bolle was born in Ixelles in 1939 and was the student of Gaston Bertrand at the Saint-Luc Institute of Brussels. From his beginnings and throughout his career, the artist, whose artistic world lies in the border between abstraction and figuration, has been simultaneously using painting, drawing and engraving techniques.
In his engravings and drawings, figures have a realistic appearance and derive from the convolutions of his imagination to become transformed figurative suggestions. He developed the same approach in his paintings: references to reality, while very personal, find their balance in coloured lines and in frank, nervous brushstrokes, as well as in the dynamic articulations and the pervasive veins network.
Showing around one hundred art pieces, which offer a full overview of his work, the exhibition allows the visitors to get into the richness of the artist’s universe. Francis De Bolle received the Berthe Art award for painting in 1963, the Triennal Belgian engraving prize in 1978 and the Jos Albert painting award in 1988. His work is part of many public and private collections, in Belgium and abroad (French community, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Cabinets des Estampes of Brussels and Liège, Museum of Louvain-la-Neuve, France National Library in Paris, etc.).


Boris Semenoff
Écuries royales, Brussels
From 20 October to 7 November 1999

After benefiting from the fertile teaching of Gaston Bertrand at the Saint-Luc Institute of Brussels, Boris Semenoff (of Russian origin, born in Brussels in 1938) promptly found his own personal style which was recognized, in the early 60’s, by the Hélène Jacquet award and the Young Belgian Painting award (1964).
The main subject of his work was, from the beginning, the human figure and more particularly women’s bodies that he represented in an allusive way, through a supple and at the same time monumental formal approach. The painter continuously used the power of suggestion and evocation up to reducing the shapes to mere vertical lines where purpurin lips, the areola of a breast or the curves of fur suddenly appear. Several art galleries in Brussels (e.g. Le Zodiaque, Carrefour, Epsilon), in Paris and Amsterdam, as well as the Foundation for Belgian Contemporary Art promoted his work which is characterized by a highly original talent for plastic abstraction and finds its best expression in mystery and immateriality.