Michel Seuphor as An Artist and Art Critic

Discours sur la nuit bleue (Exploration of the blue night) (c. 1980) | Michel Seuphor

Michel Seuphor, a Belgian-born artist, was a leading figure in the world of modern abstract art and a distinguished art critic. Born as Fernand Berckelaers on this day March 10, 1901, he adopted the pseudonym Michel Seuphor (an anagram for Orpheus) symbolizing his artistic journey towards aesthetic enlightenment. He relocated to Paris in 1922, where he became deeply engrossed in the vibrant avant-garde scene, mingling with celebrated artists including Piet Mondrian and Joan Miro.

Seuphor’s art is characterized by its minimalistic aesthetic, often employing simple geometric shapes and lines to create a sense of spatial harmony. His works have been described as visual poems that echo his profound admiration for the purity of abstract art. As an art critic, Michel Seuphor possessed a discerning eye and an extraordinary understanding of modern art movements. His writings offered insightful critiques and thoughtful analyses of contemporary artworks, greatly contributing to the discourse on abstract art. His book ‘The Art of Abstract Painting’ is considered a definitive work in the field.

Seuphor’s contribution to the world of art is not confined to his own creations or his critical evaluations of others’. He co-founded the influential art group ‘Cercle et Carré’ (Circle and Square), which played a pivotal role in promoting and defining abstract art during the early 20th century. Michel Seuphor’s legacy thus encompasses his multifaceted roles as an artist, critic, and facilitator, each equally significant in shaping the trajectory of modern abstract art.

Curated by Jennifer