Frans Van Roosmaelen Archive

Complete archives aren’t the only ones worth conserving and exhibiting. The CKV is processing some key remnants of the Frans Van Roosmaelen Archive, which in combination with the monograph published by his life partner Suzanne Biernaert, sketches a familiar picture of an artist who lived and worked through various trends of recent history.

His youth, in what at the time was Belgian Congo, had a decisive influence on how he evolved as an artist, with a colour palette that was fairly atypical and a fascination with studying the impact of the ‘first’ decolonisation on repatriating Belgians.

Later, Frans Van Roosmaelen participated in various activities related to the anti-establishment protests of the late sixties, including Roland van den Berghe’s ‘Reportage’ group, which Marcel Broodthaers, among others, belonged to. In addition to this, he started his career as a painter at the Zwarte Panter and galerie Lens. It goes without saying, that he was closely involved in ERCOLA and the (evening) events on Wolstraat and in the neighbourhood.  He was also a devoted advocate of the Belgian Institute for World Affairs, as well as numerous other initiatives.

The collection (including notebooks, diaries, correspondence, press cuttings, invitations, sketches and drawings, photographs and text material) is small, but extends into several different archives, including the Jef Lambrecht and Panamarenko Archives. Proper access and additional contextual information would be sure to produce a relevant, useful file.