Georges Meurant

Brussels, Belgium

Active paintings

My paintings are made exclusively from squares, but they work primarily by colors acting against form and structure. My real concern is space as energy or tension. This can’t result from the good execution of a well conceived project. If it arises, it is due to repeated experimentation, especially with colors that use all existing modes of contrast. What I do has no relation to nature other than revealing the workings of the brain and how signals organize interactions, which are empty of any signification. However, its function is not purely decorative. My paintings are there to act on people, moving, mobilizing or activating those who look at them.

All forms are of various sizes, in horizontal or vertical alignment, occasionaly slightly out of line. None is measured. Each differs from the others in color as well as in geometry (position, outline, direction and surface). When looking at different parts of the whole, at a given moment, a group of these rectangles will appear to unite, forming a new single rectangle, which the next moment disintegrates, while the process repeats itself with another group and then another, each one different. The absorbing of parts of the painting into the whole is always partial and temporary, but it is constantly renewed. The whole painting acts as a regular and irregular grid, which is both stable and unstable enough to unite new single forms and then break up again. This painting is not an end or result, but a process taking place before our passive gaze. Combinations and permutations arise due to perceptual reflexes. There is nothing we can do to prevent it.

My painting has virtually no ground. The panel is completely masked by opaque paint, and some of the overpainting is also opaque; the translucents, applied like a varnish, discreetly help to hold some of the parts together. I try to make the same square serve as either ground or figure, according to the configurations in which it participates. My work exploits these two ways of seeing the same reality. A gap is opened up, one that exists and does not exist, and the tension is made more active by the alternation of the roles. The virtual space in my paintings is due simply to the changes in the forms within these fragile groups. A scientist has suggested that the insubstantial space proposed by my work, constantly emerging in discontinuous and unpredictable “packets,” has the paradoxical features of a quantum structure.

Reproductions can’t produce the sensations that arise from a direct experience of the work, especially when the role of color is not chromatic, but spatial. So the risk exists that statements will be read to reflect intention more than reality. Anyway, such paintings are created for individual experiences by people who agree to spend moments in their lives facing themselves through active artifacts.

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International Society for Gestalt Theory and Its Applications

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