Katrien Caymax
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Katrien Caymax
(Born at Meeuwen, Belgium in 1951)

Katrien Caymax dedicated her adult life completely to art. She studied graphics and painting in Hasselt ­ a provincial town in eastern Belgium- and after her studies she went regularly abroad for lengthy periods.

Itinerant life

In 1973 she lived two years in Morocco. This meant a first acquaintance with the Andalusian culture and Spanish friends initiated her in the Mediterranean way of life. Since then the Spanish language and culture are part of her life. In these days there were exhibitions of her work in Melilla, Rabat and Malaga.

Later she spent much time in a small village, hidden in the Picos de Europa, a mountain range on the Spanish Atlantic coast. She worked for a time in Switzerland and opened a printer¹s workshop in Brussels. The Swiss éditeur Schindler presented her work at the ART in Basel and undertook the distribution of it in Switzerland and Austria.

Initially her engravings were made up in a severe black-an-white style. She started looking for more colours and saw herself confronted with the limitations of the traditional etching-techniques. During these years of search and travel, she studied for a while at the university of Beograd, where she learned about the basics of colour-graphics. She worked with very experienced printers like Craig Zamiello from New York and Ludo Dooms from Brussels.

Innovating graphics

Katrien Caymax has always liked to try out new methods in order to improve her technique. Sometimes she even went to industrial specialists in surface-treatment in order to find answers for her technological questions. Step by step she developed a completely new process for making colour-etchings. This unique system was a real innovation in graphic arts. Her colourful prints with their pictorial atmosphere made a great impression on galleries and the general public.

Working in colours led her in the middle of the eighties to painting. The dimensions of her work also increased. In this period she mainly used gouache and the ancient tempera techniques.

At the end of the eighties her itinerant life came to an end and she installed a workshop in the neighbourhood of Antwerp. Here she started to produce a extensive series of colour etchings, some of which changed people¹s outlook on graphics as an art form. (For instance: "The little lover" and "La belle Hélène".)

From 1991 on her work was exhibited at important art fairs in Germany, France and New York. There were expositions in London and even more in Germany, in which the editor de Bernardi from Aachen played a mayor part. In 1999 a survey of her thirty years as a print-maker was exhibited in Museum Kempenland at Eindhoven (the Netherlands).

Women as self-image

From a merely technical point of view, Katrien Caymax is very ingenious and she uses a lot of skills in order to achieve what she wants. On the other hand, her style and themes have been the same throughout her career. The public immediately recognizes her strong, flowing line and the clear palette of colours she uses. Her oeuvre is frankly figurative. The female figure is the main theme of her work: seductive women, tender women, rejecting womenŠ all states of mind are present in it. All of them are the personification of an artist with a sensitive mind.

Katrien Caymax aims for a sobriety of the forms, which enhances the effect of the colours. Her works are remarkable for their solid drawing and their intense styling.

Her ironical approach and her deceptively naïve drawing hide the deeper meaning of Caymax Œs work. Peter Thoben, conservator of the Museum Kempenland at Eindhoven puts it as follows: The formal language she uses is strongly two-dimensional and the representation is somewhat deformed, with heavy stress on the lines and the planes. Art critic Stefaan Siffer writes: The works of Katrien Caymax show a very deceitful simplicityŠIt gives her paintings and drawings something familiar at first sightŠ The power of her work is due to the simplicity of several layers, that form together a web of stories without words or scenario, of imagination and existential self-questioning

Selection of individual expositions

Galerie Embryo Leuven (B) 1995 1997 1999 2003
Cultureel centrum Leopoldsburg (B) 1995 2000
Galerie Szymon Antwerpen 1995 1996 1997
Galerie Dimmers Brussel 1995 1996
Galerie 88 Bensheim(D) 1995
Galerie Polyprint Wuppertal (D) 1995
Blackheath Gallery London 1996
Zella Art Gallery London 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000
Musée René Carcan Brussel 1996 2004
Kunst und Museumkreis E.V. Bad Essen (D) 1996 2003
Kunsthandel Marcel Jas Breda (N) 1996 1997 1999 2001 2003 2004
Cercle Artistique Waterloo 1997
Galerie F.Ogurek Lohmar (D) 1997
Musée Denon Chalons-Sur-Saone (F) 1997
Galerie Elzenheimer Schwalbach (D) 1997
Galerie Exelmans Maaseik (B) 1999
Museum Kempenland Eindhoven (N) 2000
Id Plus Art Center Hamme (B) 1999 2002 2005
Galerie Kunst en Kader Veldhoven (N) 2003
SD Worx Antwerpen 2001
Galerie de Bernardi Aachen (D) 1992 1996
Galerie Angle Aigu Brussel 1992 1994 1996
E. Traets Art Gallery 1991 1993
Galerie CGH Hasselt 2005
Galerij Epreuve d’artiste Antwerpen 2000 2004
Galerie Kunst & ambacht Eindhoven (N) 1994
Galerie Quadro Aarschot 2003
Galerie Van Campen Antwerpen 2004
Van Meenen Harelbeke 1996
Galerie Art Connection (Basel) 1987
Galerie Hôtel de Ville (Genève) 1985
Masereelcentrum (Kasteerlee) 1989 1994
Kunstforum Schelderode 1982 1983
De oude Barrier Hasselt 2006
Jakob Smitsmuseum Mol 2006

Selection of collective expositions

Alliance Française (Rabat)
Salon d’Automne (Parijs)
Galerie Kunstforum (Schelderode) 1995
Buck und Graphikmesse (Frankfurt) 1995 1996 1997 1999
Multiple Düsseldorf 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Stedelijk Museum ST. Niklaas (B) 1996
Blackheath Gallery London 1997 1998
Galerie De Bernardi Aachen (D) 1997 1999 2002 2003
Stedelijk Museum Aalst 2005
Holland Art Fair (N)
Art Expo (New York)
Mutsuko Murota (Osaka)
Art (Basel)
Graphik Bienale (Krakow)
Kunsthandel Marcel Jas Breda (N) 2006
Museum De Boterhal Hoorn (N) 2006


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