Rene Carcan, Belgian (1925 - 1993)

Rene Carcan

René Carcan (25 May 1925, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode — 1993) was a prominent Belgian engraver and sculptor, who studied under Léon Devos, Jacques Maes and Johnny Friedlaender. He has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including Galerie La Proue, and is closely associated with the work of Graciela Rodo Boulanger, who was also in the Friedlaender school.

He was born in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode and he died in Etterbeek. Carcan studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts and St Josse ten Noode. His main sculpting study was under D. Jacobs.

He developed an artistic style which has been compared to Henri Matisse's, of distilling a vision to an essential essence. His use of colour was influenced by Wassily Kandinsky and by Paul Klee.

Rene Carcan began his formal art training at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Belgium, the city of his birth and eventually his first exhibition. Also attending the St. Josse ten Noode School of drawing and printmaking, Carcan then studied for several years under sculptor G Jacobs and painters Leon Devos and Jacques Mae. Awarded a scholarship to study in Italy, Carcan was then honoured with a UNESCO fellowship in Rome in 1958, followed by another in Florence in 1959. His greatest influences are said to be Henri Matisse, Wasily Kandinsky and Paul Klee.

Eventually drawn back to printmaking, Carcan spent several years in Paris perfecting his etching technique at the Johnny Friedlaender Atelier. Back home by 1963, Carcan was sponsored for a year by the Belgian National Ministry of Fine Arts. Beginning in 1965, he directed a Graphics Atelier of his own in Brussels.

In his lifetime, Rene Carcan exhibited throughout Europe and North America, and his work remains in high demand. In addition to inclusion in the world’s best art collections, his finest tribute can be found at home in Brussels, where his former studio is now the Rene Carcan Museum. In addition to housing an extensive collection of his prints, sculpture and jewellery designs, the Rene Carcan Foundation at the same address organizes exhibitions of internationally renowned artists at least four times a year.

A Museum has been established in Brussels at the site of Carcan's old studio, the Fondation René Carcan (Rue Champ-de-Roi 122, Etterbeek), for the preservation and study of his lifeworks. This is both a museum and foundation, and exhibits works of his lithography, sculpting and jewelry design.

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