Letter from Werner Verstraeten to Paul Van Gysegem, 01.09.1957
30.05 – 04.06
On September 1, 1957, Werner Verstraeten (1937-1986) writes a long letter to his friend, draftsman, painter and sculptor Paul Van Gysegem (1935). The poet and the visual artist, who were born in the same region, have known each other for some time.
Van Gysegem, who settled in Ghent after his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, acts not only as an inspirator to Verstraeten, but also as a sounding board and confidant. Verstraeten also lives in Ghent for a short time, in a house he shares with visual artist Raf Opstaele (1934-2018), who is also friends with Paul Van Gysegem.
Verstraeten's letter is partly about a youth festival initiated by him, for which Paul Van Gysegem will provide the location. The event, which includes an exhibition and two reading evenings, will be entitled Manifest-Tijd-Jongeren and will take place at the end of December 1957 in the Lakenmetershuis in Ghent.
No expense is spared for Manifest-Tijd-Jongeren. Completely in accordance with Werner Verstraeten's chaotic spirit, the invitation, the poster and even the press release each contain contradictory information about the event.
Thanks to: .
The Letters Project
In 2022-2023, KIOSK together with the research group Ghent, playing field of the visual arts (1957-1987), will focus on letters from or to people from Ghent, or concerning the Ghent art scene. The letters are selected for their content, but also for their form.
For a whole year, the group will present a different letter every week in KIOSK, and will highlight its context or the questions it raises. During these presentations, the letter (or a facsimile) will be shown, possibly with other artefacts that are mentioned or that can clarify its meaning.
Ghent, playing field of the visual arts (1957-1987) consists of Naninga Lens, Sofie Frederix, Wouter De Vleeschouwer, Koen Brams and Godart Bakkers. For The Letters Project the group is reinforced by Simon Delobel and some guests.