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Geometrically Wired. IO Van Oostveldt: Between Clothing and Art

Start Date 25 February 2023
End Date 30 July 2023
Venue MoMu
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Curator Romy Cockx
Exhibition view. In the front are silver steps holding up black and white prints of IO Van Oostveldt, behind which are examples of her designs.
Three sparkly lurex jackets and waistcoats are hung on hangers on a silver framed structure. The jacket is blue and the waistcoats are gold are red, respectively.

‘Geometrically Wired’ highlights the life and work of the Belgian artist, IO Van Oostveldt, born in Antwerp in 1928. The exhibition explores her multifaceted creative work, bringing together her design drawings, clothing creations and visual art.

IO Van Oostveldt studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where she met Mark Verstockt (1930-2014). They married and had three children. Mark Verstockt would play an important role in the Belgian art scene. In the 1950s, his work was affiliated with the ZERO movement. By the mid-1960s, it had its own consistently geometric language of form. In those years, IO had begun designing and making clothing, initially for herself and later for others. By the early 1970s, her one-of-a-kind creations, often knitted pieces, were in demand. She continued to follow her own path, and developed, for example, a chenille yarn with lurex.

Her design drawings and visual art all reveal her fascination with geometric shapes, (recuperated) materials and new techniques. Although many of her clothing designs were never realized, they give expression to a strong, avant-garde signature. As artists, Mark Verstockt and IO Van Oostveldt influenced one another’s work, but as ‘the wife of Mark Verstockt’, IO remained in the shadows as she cared for her family. This exhibition brings insight into her multisided, creative world.

© MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, photo Stany Dederen