Frans Masereel Centre (1972) offers residencies and a working space to graphic designers, artists and critics who want to work with intaglio, relief printing, screen print or lithography, or who want to investigate the relationship of printmaking with other visual arts. The focus is on creation and experimentation in the workshop.
RESIDENCY & WORKSPACE
The centre is located in rural Flanders, Kempen ( Antwerp). The architect, Lou Jansen, designed the main studio as an open and round structure, where one can work peacefully. Artists have the chance to reside during the whole year. Art school students are welcomed during February and March for a school residency. Twice every year, a committee selects some 70 national or international artists and critics who reside in the centre for four to eight weeks. The studio is open from 8 am to 8 pm. Ivan Durt and Tom Dries, our technical staff membres, give the necessary support and technical advice. For more information about the workshops and your stay here, please also check out the ATELIER page.
PRINT MEDIA LABO
Frans Masereel Centre is a graphical laboratory in which the possibilities of graphical applications are being researched, widened and reformulated. The Centre wants to share the graphic expertise it has gathered throughout the years with the public. On our website, the PRINT LAB introduces you to the basics of intaglio, screen print, relief printing and lithography. For the more experienced artist there is interesting information on new graphic practices. If you like to share your research, you are more than welcome to send us your handout or video to share on the platform.
Frans Masereel Centre is a platform for the public, the artist and his work. The Centre organizes different graphic projects like exhibitions, open portfolio sessions, print related presentations, guided tours etc. As such it wants to stimulate new graphic practices or facilitate other to print related media. In order to fully develop all its activities Frans Masereel Centre regularly collaborates with other residency centres, museums, art houses, workplaces, postgraduate programs, etc.
PUBLICATIONS & PRINTS
Frans Masereel Centre regularly publishes own editions and publications or co-produces with artists, publishers and 'self publishers'.
Through the years our collection grew to an important archive for graphic art, because since 1972 each artist gives, after his residency, one work of art to Frans Masereel Centre. A collection of more than 20.000 pieces is archived in the main building.
Fons Mertens was the founder of what is now known as Frans Masereel Centre. As a graphic artist, he collected old printing presses. Commissioned by Fons Mertens, architect Lou Jansen designed a new building at the Zaardendijk in Kasterlee, now called Masereeldijk. Both men were fascinated by the building and the shape of windmills. The building served as a model for the new-build construction: a central, round core abutted by the workshop, crowned by a great dome. Offset printing had come to replace lithography. Even though he was relatively alone in his passion for printing presses, which still required muscle power, Fons Mertens was still keen to involve Flanders as part of his story. He set out to find an official body willing to take over his workshop and his collection. By sheer coincidence, the then Minister of Culture, Frans Van Mechelen, happened to call round when he and a few artist friends were working. The minister purchased the building after this meeting. Frans Masereel, the world-famous graphic designer and wood engraver, passed away that very year. It did not take the Minister long to find the right name. Henceforth the building was to be known as ‘The Frans Masereel National Centre for the Graphic Arts’ (Het Rijkscentrum voor Grafische Kunsten Frans Masereel).