The Voeten Collection represents a unique combination of both Belgian and international works. Currently it comprises over 1700 art pieces that have been collected during a period of more than 40 years. They are exhibited in two separate locations – at the Art Center close to Herentals and at the sculpture park near Gheel.



Michel François has devoted himself to reflect on the essence of sculpting. By adding, removing or combining different materials, he opposes questions about the materiality of his objects. In a way he is looking to understand the true essence of a material. Over the years Michel François has worked with a tremendous amount of different materials, like plaster, concrete, metals, stones, plastics, wood, ink, sand, plants, food and much and much more. In his search for the inner logic of the materials François works with in between- or double states. He presents opposites like; inside – outside, liquid - solid, hard – soft, warm –cold, black – white.

One of François' special fascinations is no doubt the contamination of things, and more particular the passing of something from one object/material to another. When we take a look at the work 'Contamination' in the picture, what do you think you see? Maybe a black and white oil on canvas? In fact the work is part of a series in which slabs of plaster where dipped in black ink. In a way the works are testimonies of the length of time that it spent in the ink. The ink at his turn has infiltrated the surface.

Michel François likes to shake the reality, to break through the familiar. His works are never what they seem to be. They leave the viewer confused and entangled. As with the work Contamination we think we are looking at a painting, but nothing is less true.

Michel François, born in 1956, Sint Truiden (BE), lives and works in Brussels. He represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale with Ann Veronica Janssens in 1999 and his work was included in Documenta IX, Kassel, in 1992.

For more information about the artist please visit:

Text: Lisa van Gerven