After the war, he settled in Brussels. There, he was co-founder of Jeune Peinture Belge and also had contacts with Cobra. In this period, his lasting friendship with Pierre Alechinsky and Hugo Claus also came about. In 1956, he went to the United States, where he was head of the painting department of the school of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1974 he found a new home in the circle around gallery De Zwarte Panter in Antwerp. Jan Cox considered his artistry as an artistic and humanistic project. He painted surreal and magical scenes but also numerous haunting expressionist works. He chose classical themes: Orpheus, Homer’s Iliad, Judith and Holofernes, the Passion of Christ, in which autobiographical references merge with general human problems. They invite the viewer to reflect on the human condition, the hopes and terrors of the modern world.
Jan Cox-EN – Living one’s art
Jan Cox (1919-1980) was born in The Hague and spent his youth in Amsterdam. Shortly before the Second World War he moved with his parents and brother, composer Harry Cox, to Antwerp and studied art history at Ghent University.
Despite some field research, our knowledge of the sacred among the Mumuye is very limited. In all these non-hierarchical groups, which are dichotomous and antinomian in composition, the va-complex predominates, which has a rich semantic meaning, with certain emphases prevailing depending on the circumstances. Religious power resides in sacred objects watched over by the elders.
The ethnographic literature of the 20th century focused mainly on the sculptural traditions of the numerous ethnic groups that populated Southern Nigeria while the more northern areas remained largely terra incognita. In 2013 Jan Strybol published a study on the sculpture of Northern Nigeria. He pointed out that in many parts of this region there are peoples who still had, at least until recently, their own sculptural tradition.
With TraumA, the Triennial of Bruges dives into the ‘uncanny’ history and reality of Bruges. Historical layers are exposed, forgotten or hidden storylines discussed. This edition explores the thin line between dream and trauma, between paradise and hell. It appeals to the imagination, to the pomp and circumstance, but also to the ‘uncanny’ that is present underground. For although Bruges seems to be a dream destination for many, poverty, loneliness, pollution or fear also lurk in this picture-perfect world.
Triennial Bruges 2021: TraumA uses artistic and architectural interventions to bring the less attractive aspects to the surface and make them part of the city’s image. It creates a polyphonic discourse, where there is room for imagination, beauty, darkness and complexity. A space where artists and architects can explore both the stage and the dusty wings. Triennial Bruges 2021: TraumA balances between the present and the hidden. With a course of sculptural, architectural and organic creations, it is a celebration of the versatility and mobility of this city.
Between private and public.
Between dream and nightmare.
27 x 20 cm
Bilingual edition: English/Dutch