Jos.  De  Decker
Dendermonde 1912-2000

Standing  Girl                                                  1970

Bronze, cire perdue - Dark brown patina with rich nuances
79 x 23,5 x 13,5 cm                   31.1 x 9.3 x 5.3 in

signed, numbered and foundry-mark on the base
edition of 4 ex. E.A.
foundry D De Groeve, Hansbeke

Exhibitions: Retrospective tentoonstelling Jos. De Decker Stadhuis Dendermonde 7-30/11/1997

Publications:
Jos. De Decker Aimé Stroobants Dendermonde 1997 p.150 ill.p.110
De Dendermondse School doorheen twee eeuwen kunstacademie, 1800-2000 Dr Jean-Pierre De Bruyn, Aimé Stroobants, Brigitte Rosseels Dendermonde 2000 p.271 

Jos De Decker became a pupil of the Academy of Fine Arts in Dendermonde in 1928 at the advice of the painter Jan Maes (1876-1974), a friend of the family. He followed until 1933 classes in sculpture by the artist Alfred Courtens (1889-1967). On demand of his teacher he worked for one year in his Brussels studio. From 1931 until 1935 he attended classes at the Brussels Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where he had the sculptors Victor Rousseau (1865-1954), Jacques Marin (1877-1950) and Egide Rombaux (1865-1942) as his teachers. Until the end of the 1930’s Jos De Decker worked in the Brussels atelier of Rombaux. In his hometown he made fame with portraits of the local bourgeoisie and a handful official orders, among which his monumental bust portrait of the deceased Queen Astrid dating from 1938. In 1941 his talent was rewarded with the famous Prix de Rome.
In 1945 the city of Dendermonde acquired one of his famous bronze sculptures of a nude young woman. Already in this time the sculptor had found his personal style. Typical for Jos De Decker is the depiction of the classical female beauty, full of grace and highly stylised. His refined nature assured that his sculptures radiate rest and simplicity in their elegant pose. Yet in every work lies a sense of hidden dynamism due to the fact that he inspired himself in nature and paid attention to a smooth and dynamic movement of the line. This tension is often the result of one simple gesture of a member or the regard. In combination with the soft modelling they become timeless and show emotion. The texture of the surface often contributes to the vitality and strong expression of these works of art.
From the end of the 1940’s onwards the artist became more and more official and private commands, among which bas-reliefs and medals, figurines, statuettes, fountains and monumental sculptures of huge dimensions from everywhere in the country. Next to this abundant work he had a lot of apprentices from 1952 until 1977 as he did teach sculpting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Dendermonde. In 1970 he was appointed director of this institution, which he reformed and vitalised through an open policy and motivation of his collaborators.
Next to the classical theme of the woman he produced also a great many deal of animal sculptures – principally of  horses. Often the surface of these bronzes is treated in relief, by which light and shadow form a dynamical play of the light. The result is a very impressive sculpture of a horse. Also the group of mother and child and especially children full of joie de vivre are a recurring theme in his oeuvre. By means of suggestion he succeeds in introducing movement and rhythm in these harmonious groups. Time and again the artist results in giving seemingly without difficulty a soul to his idea with a combination of essential lines and forms. Attitude and facial expression render his sculptures to life and contribute to his intended state of mind like diffidence, movement, grace, surrender or pride.
Jos De Decker sculpted in bronze, terra cotta, stone (flawless white marble of Carrara, black marble of Mazy, Vaurion – and Neuville-stone), wood (mahogany, oak and boxwood) and Petit Granit of Soissons or Sprimont.
Jos De Decker participated in numerous exhibitions in Belgium and Europe, e.g. the World Exhibition of 1958 in Brussels. As a successful artist his long list of exhibitions and distinctions points out about twenty personal shows. Many of his sculptures are acquired by public collections.

Museums: Community of Anderlecht; Community of Dendermonde-Baasrode; Collection of the Belgian State; Collection of the Flemish Community; Collection of the Ministry of Public Works; Collection of the European Community – OLAF-building, Brussels; Royal Academy of Belgium, Brussels; Royal Library Albert I – Cabinet of Coins and Medals, Brussels; City of Brussels; Community of Buggenhout; Community of Buggenhout, Gemeentelijke Lagere School; City of Dendermonde; City Art Gallery, Dendermonde; Town hall, Dendermonde; Administratif Centrum, Dendermonde; Fontain City Hall, Dendermonde; Monument for Queen Astrid, Dendermonde; Ros Beiaard, City of Dendermonde; Ros Beiaard-medal, City of Dendermonde; Nieuwe Dendermonding-Medal, City of Dendermonde; Collections of the OCMW, City of Dendermonde; Lodewijk Dosfel-relief, Dendermonde; Sint-Alexiusbegijnhof, Dendermonde; H Maagdcollege-relief, Dendermonde; Entrance-gate H Maagdcollege, Dendermonde; Rijkswachtkazerne, Dendermonde; Madonna, Church of Mary, Dendermonde; Head altar, Church of Mary, Dendermonde; Monument for Queen Astrid – Astridpark, Gent; Zeven Bruggen, Gent; Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen; Medal Gentse Floraliën; Vincent Dierickx-monument, City of Geraardsbergen; Community of Grembergen; Community of Hofstade; City of Knokke; Community of Lebbeke; Fontain - Stationsplein, Lokeren; Three Fontains Prinses Josephine Charlottepark, Lokeren; Auguste De Boeck-monument, Merchtem; Community of Oudegem; Ohio-bridge, Oudenaarde-Eine; Kerselaarchapel, Oudenaarde; Church of Sint-Martinus, Overijse; Provinciaal Museum Emile Verhaeren, Sint-Amands; Town hall, Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde; Hippolyte Vandemeulebroecke-monument, Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde; Atheneum, Ukkel; Community of Waasmunster; Church of Pius X, Wilrijk

Bibliography
:

Cultureel Jaarboek voor de provincie Oostvlaanderen 1948 – Eerste band Gent 1949
Modern Medaljkonst – International Utställning Nils Ludvig Rasmusson Kungl.Myntkabinettet Stockholm 1955
Contemporary Painters and Sculptors in Belgium Albert Van Wiemeersch Gent 1973
Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Dendermonde - 175 jaar Onderwijs E Verstrepen Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Dendermonde 1976
Kunstenaars van Nu – deel 1 Walter De Taeye Tielt 1976
De Dendermondse schilderschool, een kunsthistorische benadering Dr Jean-Pierre De Bruyn Dendermonde 1982
Beknopte inventaris van de voorwerpen en documenten met historische, kunsthistorische of oudheidkundige waarde, bewaard in het stadhuis en de gemeentehuizen van Dendermonde A Stroobants Dendermonde 1982
Hedendaagse Belgische Medailleurs Koninklijke Bibliotheek Brussel 1985
Architectonische ontwerpen en bouwkundig tekenen te Dendermonde A Stroobants in Architectuurtekeningen uit de historische steden van België z. pl. 1985
Histoire de la Sculpture belge J Gérard Bruxelles 1988
Het Ros Beiaardmonument in het stadspark A Stroobants in Dendermondse Museum- en Archiefberichten Dendermonde 1990 n°11
Emile Verhaeren in de beeldhouwkunst – Emile Verhaeren dans la statuaire P Verbraeken, P Servaes Provinciaal Museum Emile Verhaeren Sint-Amands a/d Schelde 1/3-31/10/1992
De Dendermondse schilderschool, een kunsthistorische benadering Dr Jean-Pierre De Bruyn Dendermonde 1994
De O-L-Vrouwekerk te Dendermonde anders bekeken Leo Pée, Aimé Stroobants Dendermonde 1994
Etude analytiqued’une oeuvre d’art: Une sculpture: De Blinden de Jos De Decker E Linsmeau Bruxelles 1994-1995
Catalogus beeldhouwwerken A Stroobants Stedelijke Musea Vleeshuismuseum Dendermonde 24/6-30/10/1995
Medailles en plaketten van Dendermondse medailleurs A Stroobants Stedelijke Musea Stad Dendermonde Dendermonde 1996
Viering Jos De Decker - 7/11/1997 Stadhuis Dendermonde 8-30/11/1997
Jos. De Decker Aimé Stroobants Dendermonde 1997
Verering verbeeld - Dendermondse standbeelden en monumenten A Stroobants Stedelijke Musea - Stadsarchief Dendermonde 1998
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs E Bénézit Paris 1999 vol.IV
De Dendermondse School doorheen twee eeuwen kunstacademie, 1800-2000 Dr Jean-Pierre De Bruyn, Dr Aimé Stroobants Dendermonde 2000
Dendermondenaars geportretteerd Aimé Stroobants, Leo Pee Gedenkschriften van de Oudheidkundige Kring van het Land van Dendermonde Vierde Reeks dl 20 Jaarboek 2001
Gids voor de collegiale O-L-Vrouwekerk van Dendermonde A Stroobants Stedelijke Musea Dendermonde 2006
Dendermonde in artistiek perspectief Dr JP De Bruyn Stedelijke Musea & Oudheidkundige Kring Stadhuis Dendermonde 28/4-20/5/2007

 
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