Willem Elias, Johan Valcke, Donatella Bianchi
Frans L. Van Praet was born in 1937 in Sint-Amands on the river Scheldt and was associated as a young man with the artistic circle around the gallery De Zwarte Panter. It is in this context that his visual work ought to be situated: a Flemish surrealism that plays at once with words and images. His oeuvre evokes a fascinating ambiguity: narrative exuberance goes hand in hand with the less-is-more austerity of minimalism. These self-imposed limits, in which we recognize the true master, have been Van Praet’s guiding principle for the design of everyday items. Where possible, he also likes to help shape the space in which these objects will function. His creations form a synthesis of the quirkily utilitarian and the potential of the material. Wood is his favourite medium: when centuries-old wood is sawn, its growth rings are revealed, the history of its growth process.