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Rik Poot (1924-2006)

Rik Poot (Vilvoorde, March 20, 1924 – Jette, December 16, 2006) was a Flemish visual artist who mainly focused on bronze sculptures and assemblages in metal.

He was born in the Flemish part of Brabant, more specifically in the working-class neighborhood Far-West, the first social residential area of ​​the municipality of Vilvoorde. Poot attended the modern humanities at the Royal Athenaeum in Vilvoorde and then took lessons at the Academy of Molenbeek. As a child, Poot became fascinated by the craftsmanship of his father, who was a bronze caster and made funerary ornaments. The fairs in Vilvoorde, especially the horses that were inspected and traded, made a lasting impression on him. During the war years 1944-45 he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In 1948 he settled in Grimbergen. Poot has successively received several prizes: First Prize Open Air Exhibition Anderlecht (1948), the Godecharle Prize and the prize of the city of Liège (1949). He then undertook study trips to France and Italy thanks to a scholarship won to study the art of Antiquity and the Renaissance. In 1953 he won the second Prize of Rome, the first Prize Open Air Exhibition Forest and the first Prize City of Brussels. In 1954, together with Roel D’Haese, he received an honorable mention in the Prix Jeune Sculpture. In 1959 he received the Coopal Prize. From 1962 to 1984 he was professor of Monumental Sculpture at the National Institute of Architecture and Decorative Arts of ter Kameren, Brussels. Poot’s statues are almost all in public space. His Resting Najade is located in front of the Turnhout courthouse. In 1982 he designed “Ode to a mountain river” in bronze for the Herrmann-Debroux metro station in Brussels. His statue of the writer Maurice Gilliams was given a place in the garden of the Elzenveld in Antwerp. On the bluestone pedestal is this text by Gilliams: The unrest gives wings to the imagination, which became the motto of the novel The evening is discomfort by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. In 2004 the city of Vilvoorde organized an exhibition of his work in the Hansenspark and an old monastery as a tribute to Poot. Here they brought together the voluptuous figures, the prancing horses, the monumental statues and the busts that Poot had made. In the spring of 2008, Poot’s latest creation, The Kidnapping of Europe, was created on the Leuven provincial square, with the support of the province of Flemish Brabant, the city of Leuven and KBC. The bronze statue forms the final piece of the esplanade that will connect the station with the provincial government. The statue depicts the Greek myth of Europe on the back of a bull. Shortly afterwards, he posthumously received the biennial Van Acker Prize for his entire oeuvre in Bruges. has the Belgisches Haus from 1970 available.

Rik Poot

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