Jef Geys - You don’t see what you think you see

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Jef Geys, Geel, 'Yellow, Red, Blue, etc…', 1979. Collection S.M.A.K., Gent. Photo: Dirk Pauwels.

Art critics commonly describe Jef Geys’ work as “unruly, and impossible to categorize in conventional art-historical categories.” Despite Geys’ subversive and critical attitude towards the art world, this ambitious survey exhibition shows that his work is not only deeply engaged and socially critical, but also funny and sensory.

As Geys writes in 1991, “Is what one sees really what one thinks one sees? And what can one do with what one sees?” Our perception of things is shaped by assumptions, beliefs and habits, which in turn are influenced by education, mainstream media and advertising. Always critical of image and language, Geys aims to expose “the hidden, what one thinks one sees,” and encourages self-reflection and scepticism. This aim is the starting point of this survey exhibition of Geys’ heterogeneous work, enriched by previously unpublished and exceptional documents from the artist's archives.

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