Merci Facteur ! Mail art #5(Grand) Poste liégeoise
A glance at an iconic building in the Ardent City, the fifth opus of the exhibition cycle dedicated to Mail Art in french-speaking Belgium focuses on the scene in Liège, undoubtedly one of the most active in the country. A chance to renew our acquaintance with some of the movement’s central figures: Jacques Charlier, Pol Piérart and Jean Spiroux.
A great Belgian personality and embodying a type of authority at the heart of this selection despite himself, Jacques Charlier (1939) soon encountered the international avant-garde figures of his time. Although his correspondence lacks the systematic nature of Mail Art, it nevertheless follows its outlines and issues: generous exchanges between artists on the same wavelength and a need to be part of an aspirational community. Here we can see the prestigious signatures of Sol LeWitt, Gilbert & George, Ben, Niele Toroni, etc.
Ever since he started out, Pol Piérart (1955) has combined writing with painting or images, using it to liberate a type of everyday poetry imbued simultaneously with tenderness and a wry irony. So he’s a Mail Art natural, quick to subvert postcards or received images. Possibly less spontaneous and less random, his contribution often consisted in responding to invitations for a myriad of themed exhibitions.
Trained at the Liège Academy’s painting workshop, Jean Spiroux (1938-2021) abandoned this medium during the 1980s to devote himself to Mail Art. The practice thus offered him a new freedom, an inventiveness that apparently resulted in him setting aside his paintbrushes. Working under the pseudonym of Société Anonyme (Public Limited Company, or more literally, Anonymous Society), he organised several important exhibitions of Mail Art in Belgium and abroad. Together with the Dutch speaker Guy Bleus, another well-known figure of Belgian Mail Art, he was selected to design the Mail Art stamp published by the Belgian Postal Service in 2003.
Curator: Pierre-Olivier Rollin
Exhibition dates: 18 February to 23 April 2023
Opening on 17 February 2023