The Mark Verstockt Legacy
In late 2018, the CKV was contacted by Io Verstockt – Van Oostveldt and Katharina Verstockt. They both had many questions about the conservation of an artistic legacy and spoke with great conviction and enthusiasm about the work and artistic practice of Mark Verstockt. It was also a chance to discover the oeuvre of Io Verstockt – Van Oostveldt.
The various folders, boxes and documents had been browsed in the past by students, researchers and other interested parties, resulting in a hodgepodge of catalogues, magazines and publications, invitations, texts, posters, and extensive correspondence (with artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Piero Manzoni and many others), along with drawings, sketches, models, plans, notebooks, press cuttings, multiples and editions as well as a diverse collection of audiovisual (digital) materials and photographs. These documents, drawings, plans, and other such materials had previously been compiled in the context of presentations, exhibitions and book publications. There was no clear structure to the collection; nevertheless, there were various folders, with information organised per (exhibition) project.
The production and pre-production materials for artworks, exhibitions and designs within the artistic practice of Mark Verstockt make up this collection of archives. Administrative documents are included only to a limited extent. Additional collections are currently held in Brussels (Artesio) and Kemzeke (Verbeke Foundation).
Potential steps after the description and appraisal of the archives include setting up a digital catalogue of the oeuvre, drawing up an inventory and starting a phased process of digitisation.
‘What matters is the structure’Mark Verstockt
Marc Verstockt or Mark Verstockt (Lokeren, 16 July 1930 – Antwerp, 14 May 2014) was a sculptor, graphic artist and painter. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, together with Dan Van Severen. They became proponents of constructivism. He immersed himself in abstraction and the study of geometric shapes.
Verstockt produced sculptures, the most famous of which is the monumental sculpture ‘Signaal’ in Sint-Niklaas. He experimented with video and the art of printing books. In 1971 he published ‘This is not a book’. Verstockt earned a reputation as a theoretician with the publication, in 1982, of ‘De Genesis van de vorm, van chaos tot geometrie’ (the Genesis of form, from Chaos to Geometry), an in-depth study of three fundamental shapes: the circle, the square and the triangle.