Louis VAN BAELENS

1956 Mouscron (BE)

Photo © Jacques Robert

It was by pure chance that his oeuvre came to exist at all. I found his first effort torn up and thrown away in the bin, as if he’d felt it was no good. For me it was a wonderful surprise and a moving experience! And for Louis it was the beginning of a beautiful artistic adventure as he painted one ‘brick wall’ canvas after another. His works are basically red and black, red for the bricks of northern Belgium and black for the cement. In some paintings there is a patch of blue, sky perhaps or sea. Even-tempered, almost vacantly, he makes use of accidents or omissions, sometimes putting bricks, where a door or window was planned, and sometimes having forgotten joints turn out as wide as bricks. These are contemporary works that do away with any distinction between outsider and insider art!

(Bruno Gérard, Débridé(e)s, Ed. Centre La Pommeraie, Ellignies-Sainte-Anne, 2008 – Prix Fondation Désidé Jaumain)

Louis Van Baelens fabriquait des blocs de béton, mais suite à une blessure au dos, il a dû revoir l’emploi de son temps avec les responsables de la Pommeraie. Depuis qu’il est dans l’atelier de Bruno, il dessine et peint des briques, avec méthode et application. (…) Concentré sur ce qu’il fait, il est indifférent à ce qui se passe dans l’atelier. (…)En maçon appliqué, Louis Van Bellens construit ses dessins et ses peintures.

Jacky Legge, coordinateur des expositions à la maison de la culture de Tournai
(Jacky Legge, in : Emergence, Ed. Centre La Pommeraie / Maison de la Culture de Tournai, Ellignies-Saint-Anne / Tournai, 2015)