Depth of Field, volume 1, no. 1 (October 2011)Tamara Berghmans: Images Inventées in Brussels and The Hague

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Post-war photography in Belgium can be seen in the light of the dominant existentialism of the 1950s, with which the artist’s individualistic thinking and acting fit well. Modern art photography in Belgium went through a crucial phase between 1950 and 1965, which was to be definitive for the course of Belgian photographic history. A small group of photographers – Robert Besard, Pierre Cordier, Julien Coulommier, Gilbert De Keyser, Antoon Dries, Marcel Permantier and Serge Vandercam – fought for the acknowledgement of photography as art at a time in which, in Belgium, there was little consciousness of the possibilities for photography in general. This article will examine the importance that the photo exhibition Images Inventées had in achieving foreign recognition and piloting photography into the Belgian art world. The organizers worked together with the German photographer Otto Steinert, who lent the exhibition added prestige and an international character. The recognition became still more manifest when Images Inventées travelled on to the Vrije Academie in The Hague and Das Städtische Museum Schloß Morsbroich in Leverkusen, Germany.