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Willy Kessels - Advertising Photograph for Ladural
Willy Kessels
Advertising Photograph for Ladural
$3,000
Sale
$2,100
Willy Kessels - Female Nude
Willy Kessels
Female Nude
$800
Sale
$560
Willy Kessels - Female Nude Covered in Silk
Willy Kessels
Female Nude Covered in Silk
$2,500
Sale
$1,750
Willy Kessels - Female Nude with Flower in Hair and Bust
Willy Kessels
Female Nude with Flower in Hair and Bust
$1,750
Sale
$1,225
Willy Kessels - Inauguration de l’institut d’Education Physique Foundation Hugo Audrieu
Willy Kessels
Inauguration de l’institut d’Education Physique Foundation Hugo Audrieu
$1,250
Sale
$875
Willy Kessels - Photomontage for a Development of the Left Bank of Antwerp
Willy Kessels
Photomontage for a Development of the Left Bank of Antwerp
$5,000
Willy Kessels - Rare Photograph from the Film
Willy Kessels
Rare Photograph from the Film "Borinage"
$3,000
Sale
$2,100
Willy Kessels - Standing Female Nude
Willy Kessels
Standing Female Nude
$800
Sale
$560
Willy Kessels - Standing Female Nude
Willy Kessels
Standing Female Nude
$1,200
Sale
$840
Willy Kessels - Standing Female Nude
Willy Kessels
Standing Female Nude
$800
Sale
$560
Willy Kessels - Woman Reclining in Black Leather Dress
Willy Kessels
Woman Reclining in Black Leather Dress
$2,000
Sale
$1,400
By Alex Novak
Photomontage for a Development of the Left Bank of Antwerp
Female Nude Covered in Silk

Willy Kessels (1898-1974) was one of the leading Belgian photographers in the period between the two World Wars and an important Belgian Modernist. Born in Termonde, Belgium, in East Flanders, he studied architecture in Ghent, starting work as an architect in 1919. After completing the Ecole des Beaux Arts of Gent, he went to Brussels and during the 1920s worked there as a sculptor and architectural draftsman. He met Le Corbusier in 1928. In 1926 he became interested in photography and three years later, in 1929, became a professional photographer.

His work, which covered a variety of fields, reflected the avant-garde, European modernism of the period. His training as an architect made him a fine architectural photographer, and he made portraits of the leading Belgian architects of the century, notably Victor Bourgeois and Henri Van de Velde. His photographs for the 1931 book Découverte de Bruxelles by Albert Guislain showed the city from a non-traditional approach.

In 1932 he exhibited at the first Internationale de la Photographie at the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, alongside photographers such as Man Ray, André Kertész and Germaine Krull. Much of his personal work was in photographing the nude.

Photomontage for a Development of the Left Bank of Antwerp
Photomontage for a Development of the Left Bank of Antwerp

As well as his excellent work in the field of advertising, Kessels also produced social reportage. In 1933 he accompanied film-makers Joris Ivens and Henri Storck while they were shooting Misère au Borinage, a stark, ground-breaking documentary depicting the misery of workers in one of Belgium's coal-mining areas after a strike. Despite the humanist, if not socialist, point of view of these photographs, and although he was a leading modernist and progressive in photography and design, at least from the mid-1930's Kessels was involved with the extreme right in politics, so much so that at the end of the Second World War, he was condemned for collaboration with the Nazis.

After the war he became less active in photography. One project on which he worked concentrated on the Escault valley of Flanders and its population, while another featured a series of experimental images under the title Spatial, possibly influenced by the work of Otto Steinert and the Subjective Photography movement.

Willy Kessels died in Brussels in 1974.

Willy Kessels and Photography: A Modern Means to Represent the World
About This Artist
Image List

Exhibited and Sold By
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.

258 Inverness Circle
Chalfont, Pennsylvania   18914   USA

Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith

Email info@vintageworks.net

Phone +1-215-822-5662

Call for an Appointment

 

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