Irénée Duriez (born in Torhout in 1950) gained fame as a sculptor of mainly female figures and as a creator of an originally robust, but gradually more pure and slim elegance. Bronze is his material, the figure his language. This way, he follows in the footsteps of artists like Rodin, Maillol en Grard. He considers living models as a stimulant and a source of creativity which intrigues, touches, and seduces him with its different postures, points of view, sensitivities, and emotions. His work is an ode to the young woman. A conscious choice that manifests itself in the refinement of his three-dimensional approach, in the realization of hands, feet, and faces, in the subtle integration of tangible emotions, muscles, and tensions. It is well known that sculptors like to touch and feel - a spawn, a thigh, a back - to repeat this experience of touching, as if it was engraved in the memory of their hands. The forms that were touched by the hands lie anchored in those same hands before translating themselves into clay or wax. In his figures, Irénée Duriez wants to transmit perfection and sensitivity, honor his craftsmanship and creativity, and show respect to the bodily shape of his model. His sculptures embody the triumph of the volume, reflect his vision on sculpture, and display a feminine and flourishingly sensual archetype.
Apart from statues, Irénée Duriez also makes drawings. His drawing studio is situated at the top floor of Museum Irénée Duriez (his sculpture studio is situated elsewhere in Ichtegem). During the opening hours of the museum, a number of recent drawings are displayed on the top floor of Museum Irénée Duriez.
Keibergstraat 6, 8480 Ichtegem
2016: Open from July 1 until August 28
Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 14h till 18h30
The artist is present every afternoon
Exhibition space for the most recent sculptures and drawings by Irénée. Special attention is accorded to his works of the last fifteen years. This space is intended to reveal the artist's mastership and his 50 years of artistic development to the visitor. Interested visitors can discover how Irénée achieved his current results by strolling through the nearly 800 m² of exhibition space and the 2500 m² large sculpture garden.
About 30 large bronze sculptures reside in a natural park environment in this romantic landscape garden designed by landscape architect Wim Meyns. The sculptures stand out well in the statue garden specifically designed for this purpose. The selected vegetation in all shades of green functions as a background screen to a stage on which the sculptures start living lives of their own. Bright colours and special effects were banned to avoid drawing the attention away from the art work. This romantic garden does however house a few rare tree species.
In this part of the museum visitors meet the young Irénée, a beginning artist in search of his own identity and his very own mode of expression. We retrace his journey attentively, from his early days in the trade as a wood engraver in 1964 to his stage of development in Yves Rhaye's proximity and his exploration of abstract and figurative design. We witness the way in which he ultimately finds his personal style and keeps refining and improving it. All of this is interspersed with a vast amount of biographical information and illustrated by more than a 110 sculptures and about 30 drawings.
The top floor of the "Milking parlour" (Melkerij) houses the drawing studio of the artist. Visitors are invited to discover the materialisation of Duriez's typical bronze nudes through a continuous video installation. The studio paints a picture of the artist's development in the years 2000-2010. The attention is drawn not only to approximately 70 bronze statues, which have become more slender and refined during this period, but also to many drawings, as the artist has perfected his mastery of this art form during these years.
Since 2006, Museum Irénée Duriez closely collaborates with the Ichtegem Department of Culture. Every year in August, this department of culture organizes the event "Summer in Ichtegem", during which both Museum Irénée Duriez and other gardens featuring an art exhibition are opened to the public. In this way, about twenty artists make the visitors discover a whole range of artistic styles.
So far, four books have been published about the work of Irénée Duriez. The first and the second book are sold out. The third and the fourth book are available in Museum Irénée Duriez. Apart from these books, a DVD was made which shows how the work of Irénée Duriez comes into being. This DVD is also available in Museum Irénée Duriez, where it is permanently shown. More information on these publications can be found on the backside of the pictures above.
Museum Irénée Duriez
Dienst Cultuur Ichtegem