Yves Zurstrassen was born in Liege in 1956 and decided to become a painter at the age of seventeen. Soon after, he travelled to France, then Spain, setting up studio spaces in nomadic fashion. He was passionate about the image, its reproduction, the countless possibilities of collage and mixing. His adventure as a creator had begun and, with each passing year, he became increasingly immersed in painting, which became a ‘primal nature’, the living source of his inspiration. In painting, he encountered the rhythms of Matisse, Mondrian and Stuart Davis, the dark intensities of Franz Kline, Pierre Soulages, Christopher
Wool, the coloured constructions of Fernand Léger, Jonathan Lasker, Philip Taaffe or Albert Oehlen. His work would be shown in diverse galleries, arts centres and museums in Belgium, Spain, Germany, France and other European countries. He enjoyed a dialogue free of constraints from history and the relevance of painting to impressively affirm its vocabulary, language and form.

‘To live is to defend a form,’ as Friedrich Hölderlin affirmed, and this is what we are about to discover throughout Yves Zurstrassen’s most recent decade of creation. Umberto Eco once said, ‘Through art, we live ten, a hundred, a thousand lives’. With texts by François Barré, Oliver Kaeppelin, Sophie Lauwers and Anne Pontégnie, this book explores the many lives encompassed in the oeuvre of this artist. The title, Free, resounds like an ode to freedom, like the Free Energy of the great inventor Nikola Tesla, or like FreeJazz of Ornette Coleman.

BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium, 26/09/2019–12/01/2020