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Servranckx, Victor  

Roger Avermaete

(b Diegem, nr Brussels, June 26, 1897; d Vilvoorde, nr Brussels, Dec 12, 1965).

Belgian painter, sculptor, designer and writer. He studied from 1913 to 1917 at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, winning a number of prizes for academic paintings while simultaneously exploring abstract art, of which he was one of the first practitioners in Belgium. He was encouraged in this direction by his work in a wallpaper factory, where he became fascinated by the interplay of coloured dyes in the vats; he continued working there for many years, contributing to the development of wallpaper designs. He also became involved with domestic interior decoration and took an interest in the different branches of the applied arts.

Servranckx was a vigorous champion of abstract art as a writer and teacher and in his own work, and he staunchly defended it as a rigorous and disciplined idiom against those who conceived of it in purely decorative terms. Seeking through abstraction to transcend the mere imitation of appearances, as an act of bravado he occasionally painted in a representational style in order to display his skill as a conventional painter; such is the case with ...