Guy Rombouts

Guy Rombouts (1949) comes from a family of printers and started by training to be a typographer. In the end however he turned to art, but his work continues to show a fascination for language, writing and sign systems. Rombouts was inspired by the alphabet from the time he started producing his first art.

For instance he collected objects whose names comprised three letters, always starting with another letter. The 24 objects - he was unable to find an equivalent for the letters Q and X - were arranged alphabetically and displayed as such in a gallery. He also made pictograms of them, thus creating a pictorial script in which every object represented a letter.

In 1984 Guy Rombouts' artistic quest resulted in the invention of AZART, his own alphabet which he and his partner Monica Droste (1958-1998) used to make rebuslike installations in all sorts of materials. AZART comprises 27 different line sections which represent the 26 letters of our alphabet and a space sign. The sign for A for example is an Angular line, B is represented by a Barred line and C by a bent line or Curve. Each of the 26 lines is linked to its own colour: for example A to aquamarine, B to bordeaux and C to lemon yellow (citroengeel in Dutch). The texts that are made with this new alphabet therefore acquire a sensual aspect which is generally missing from Western script. The playful and colourful pictorial language of the work often contrasts with the generally rather heavy literary content derived from quotations by artists, writers and philosophers.

At the 'Over de mensen en de dingen' exhibition Guy Rombouts' work included Met drie woorden eten. He designed this cutlery together with Monica Droste. The silhouettes of the spoon, knife and fork form the words they represent in AZART. The outline of the fork comprises the letter lines Vault, Ogee, Rhombic and Key pattern (VORK). Although the word 'fork' in ordinary writing does not resemble a real fork, here you can actually eat with the word itself. In this way the link between language and the sensual world is briefly less arbitrary. 

- Peter Pollers


13.02 to 01.05.2005
13.02 to 01.05.2005
13.02 to 01.05.2005
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