09 February - Sunday 11 June 2017
Venue: Hugh Lane Gallery
If he had not grown up staring out at the harsh light of the docks in Antwerp, Eugeen van Mieghem would have been a very different artist.
His non-traditional style, freeform sketching and predisposition towards anarchism and idealism have made him a renegade favourite on the Antwerp art scene.
Eugeen spent his career drawing the shadowy figures that haunted the docks: the sack porters, makers, dockers, bargers and tramps. He taught at the Academy in Antwerp, wherefrom once he had been expelled, until his death in 1930, after enjoying moderate success in his own lifetime.
After 1930, enthusiasm for Eugeen’s work faded until the Picasso Museum in Barcelona mounted seven of his works as part of a Steilen retrospective. After that, a Van Mieghem Museum opened in Antwerp, displaying 150 of his works.
Now, however, a wonderful retrospective of his work can be found at the Hugh Lane Gallery for a limited time. Enjoy Eugeen’s art, imagining the artist as a young man, observing the culture of the docks, drinking it all in, as you, in turn, savour the work that was the result of his artful idling.