Paintings of the Fortuitous School in Public Collections

Entirely serious explorations of what is possible in painting using media of surprising provenance. Pol Bury was an associate of COBRA and the founder of Daily Bul.

Pol Bury - painter, sculptor and writer - was born in Haine-Saint-Pierre (Belgium) on 26th April 1922. In 1938 he attended the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Mons and shortly afterwards began to frequent the Surrealists in Belgium. During the 1920s and ’30s, the influence of Surrealism was spreading throughout the world and in 1935 La Louvière had hosted a major exhibition. However, although Bury participated in the Exposition internationale du Surréalism held in Brussels in 1945, he was already beginning to distance himself from the Surrealist movement as he came under the spell of abstraction. Between 1949 and 1951 he participated, in a small way, in the activities of the COBRA group. Bury was so impressed by Calder’s exhibition in 1950 in Paris that he completely changed course and by 1953 had abandoned painting to make mobile plans. The exploration of movement would prove to be one of his major preoccupations and in 1957, he invented his Multi-Plans, which make use of slow arhythmically moving slats. A number of his objects and sculptures feature similar barely perceptible movement “whose erotic and oneiric fascination” - as one critic has noted - “is reinforced by the abstract simplicity of the forms.” During the course of the 1960s and ’70s, Pol Bury’s work continued to evolve. In 1968 he erected his first large-sclae public work (a fountain at the University of Iowa) and in 1976 a ceiling of 75 mobile elements for the Brussels métro. Despite numerous exhibitions (Caracas, Hanover, Houston, Paris, Toronto, and three in New York in 1971 alone), Pol Bury has continued to write throughout his career.

The present book consists of all but 4 pages of two separate books: L’Art inopiné dans les Collections publiques (1982) and Guide des Musées de l’Art inopiné (1988). Both were published by Daily-Bul, the publishing house Pol Bury co-founded in 1954 with André Balthazar.