Art Deco fantasy and allegorical majesty crown the works of Belgian artist René Louis Marie Choprix. Active during the first half of the 20th century, Choprix was an important part of the modern developments in Belgian art.
Choprix studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, the Belgian capital. Within the cohort of students at the Academy of this era was contained the talents of Constant Montald (1863-1944) and Jean Delville (1867-1953), great purveyors of symbolist and idealist styles. Indeed, these and other more modern, Avant-Garde styles were becoming ever popular among young artists. Choprix is one such example.
His early works have a strong focus on the nude. He invigorates the classical, buxom bodies of the female models he depicts with a modern feel. His works are very in tune with the Art Deco styles of the time, with their exotic settings and glorious use of colour. Models lounge in luxuriously bizarre landscapes. Lush grass is a large matt of flat terrain, the blue sky a singular strike of colour upon the canvas. Lines are crisp, bold, abstract. Choprix utilised allegory strongly in his work, his nudes fulfil a new experimentation in art and art meaning. What could an image of a nude woman lying next to a porcelain doll, similarly nude, be telling the audience? Curious is piqued and piqued further with each of Choprix’s works.
As Choprix’s career progressed, his landscapes became ever stranger and more interesting. He continued to infuse allegorical meaning into his fantasy lands. Faces are carved into rock. A nude couple, evoking Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, look towards a striking, pale line cut into an undulating landscape. Looking towards the future, perhaps? The future of humanity? There is a great deal of reflection and imagination in Choprix’s works, coupled with a vivid use of colour which illuminates both the visual and cerebral alike.
There is also some Asian influence in some of Choprix’s works as was made popular by the ‘Orientalism’ which had been burgeoning in Europe since the late 19th century. In many ways, Choprix’s works emulate those of Japanese-French painter Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968), painting at the same time.
Choprix was working within the pulsating veins of new artistic endeavour and experience which was pushing creativity beyond its current limits to explore new artistic expression. He exhibited at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and seems to have lived and worked the majority of his life within the Belgian capital. Evidence does point to holidays abroad, particularly to Italy. Indeed, later in his career Choprix developed a fascination with Stromboli Volcano, depicting it in his singular, mythical style.
Choprix also produced works for commercial use. These were used for clothing stores as advertisements for their attractive, glamorous ladies’ clothing. He also produced illustrations for textbooks and educational publications. With his sleek, sophisticated hand, it is easy to see why commercial businesses and art societies and institutions alike chose to promote Choprix’s work.
Following his death in 1972, a number of memorial exhibitions have been held within Belgium.
Born in Brussels, Belgium.
Studied at Brussels Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Exhibited at the Palais des Beaux-Arts.
Died in Brussels, Belgium.
Tribute exhibition held at Villers-La-Ville.
Posthumous exhibition held at Quadri gallery.
Posthumous exhibition held La Tête d'or Gallery.