Kunstmuseum aan zee Collecties van
de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Stad Oostende



With artworks from the collections of Mu.ZEE and the Permeke Museum.

Since time immemorial visual artists have been fascinated by the human figure. It is a subject that offers endless pictorial and plastic possibilities. Translating the tension and power of a posture or an expression into colour, line, form, brushstroke, materials and technique is a constant challenge. 

Modern and contemporary artists opt for very diverse styles, materials and techniques to capture the human body: hyper realistic, expressive or minimalist, sometimes with a playful, whimsical play of lines and silhouettes, sometimes in a tight, almost abstract style. Some figures are fragmented, others are very solid and monolithic.

Artists also look on the portrayal of the human figure as a medium for communicating emotions, identity, concepts, dreams, fears, convictions or the role of a particular group in society. The depiction of people serves as a mirror for oneself and the onlooker and as a reflection on the world.

Constant Permeke, too, devoted his life to portraying the human body. Inspired by African sculptures he chose heavy, squarish forms and dark, earthy colours, highly figurative or quasi abstract styles, in larger-than-life formats, often using just a few fine pencil lines to indicate a face or a hand.

‘Figurative’ invites the visitor to engage in a dialogue with the human figure in all its variety, as seen through the eyes of a selection of modern and contemporary artists from our own collection. 

Overview past exhibitions »

04/04/2015 - 05/06/2016
€2.50 (discount cards, groups, 55+, etc.)
€1 young people aged 13 to 26
Free for children up to the age of 12