Upon their return to Belgium in 1922, they discovered that their old friend, Constant Permeke (1886-1952), and other painters had gone through a similar development. Slowly but surely, the modern world was reaching the villages along the Leie – popular with artists since the end of the 19th century – now also through modern art. The artists gathered in the villa of the multifaceted art patron Paul-Gustave Van Hecke (1887-1967). It is in this period that the term Flemish Expressionism was born.
The exhibition Flemish Expressionism - Wonderful Memories provides a broad overview of an important period in Flemish art with in addition to the work of Gustave De Smet and Frits Van den Berghe, paintings by Jozef Cantré (1890-1957), Constant Permeke (1886-1952) and Edgard Tytgat (1879-1957). The exhibition brings together approximately a hundred objects: mostly oil paintings, but also some sculptures and works on paper. It leads us from the ‘pre-war light’ of Luminism, through the darkness of the war years in the Netherlands, to return to the human: the quiet life along the Leie and relaxation on a Sunday, village scenes and popular entertainments including taverns, the circus and the fun fair.
The exhibits are drawn from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag and loans from other museums and private collections. From Musea Brugge The lovers in the village (1925) by Frits Van den Berghe and The large shooting gallery (1923) by Gustave De Smet are on loan. MSK Gent is lending The good house (1926) by Gustave De Smet.