Jacqueline Dehond and Koenraad Uyttendaele together comprise the duo of artists Jacqy duVal. They both studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and went on to have careers as a designer and an art restorer, respectively. Inspired by their understanding of and passion for art history, since 2009 they have been working together on a body of abstract paintings.
Drawing inspiration from a geometric motif on the walls and ceiling of a room in the historic Hospital of St. John in Bruges which dates from the 16th century, they inflect its forms on canvases of raw linen, in a subtle exploration of colours. This magnificent colouristic exercise, in all its astonishing precision and assurance, is undoubtedly informed by their knowledge of the history of art and the decorative arts.
The initial composition is done on the computer screen. The colour samples are then printed on paper and a full-scale test is carried out, with each of the flat tints on paper pinned onto the canvas, and finally the raw linen canvas is sized with rabbit-skin glue and painted with the pigments and casein. This is a slow, thoughtful, intense process. The compositions are developed in very small formats, which are enclosed in Plexiglas boxes like small precious icons, and on very large, majestic canvases with an irradiant presence. Other paintings, monochrome, have a slightly flattened circular form. This is the circle formed by the menhirs of Stonehenge, a megalithic monument consisting of a set of concentric circles, erected in the south of England between 2800 and 1100 BCE.