Magic City (1976)
With dozens of curved strips arranged in concentric arches, in a spectrum of colours that follows the structure of a rainbow, the artist evokes an impressive sky full of the burning rays of the sun. A few elongated grey clouds pass over the arches of the circle. The city appears as a futuristic, magical vision, but also as a threat. From the green hills topped with orange, two little beings watch the amazing sight. The idea for "Magic City" was born whilst Jean-Michel Folon sat staring at the 150 m² large grey concrete wall for which he had been asked to create a work of art. Suddenly, rays of sunlight shone through a hole in the roof into the station. He then realised that there is never any sunlight in the metro and that a picture of a radiant sun shining on a magical city would give a bit of colour to this underground world.
Jean-Michel Folon (Uccle, 1934 – Monaco, 2005)
At the age of 21, Jean-Michel Folon decided to end his architecture studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieur de la Cambre. He wanted to draw the big city, the way of life in the metropolis. In the space of a few months Folon discovered his themes and style. His drawings gave an outstanding impression of the modern world, were published in numerous newspapers and magazines, and made him famous everywhere. With little means but always a lot of artistic efficiency, the artist manages to combine the aesthetic aspect with a deeper meaning. The stylisation and simplification of visible reality, spiritual discovery and a critical attitude complement each other in an exemplary fashion. But whether it is a question of illustrations in books or on posters, for Jean-Michel Folon it's always about people. He represents people in all sorts of environments, both in the city and in the countryside. Other than the Brussels metro, Folon's work is also present in the London underground and in the Congress building in Monaco. He has had many exhibitions in the United States, Japan, Italy and Paris.
Rythme bruxellois (1976)
Over its 120 metres, "Rythmes bruxellois" is an energetic alternation of colours and shapes. Within the three dimensions of the architectural space, the wall is covered in living contrasts of shapes and colours. Each part of this composition takes part in the whole but retains its own individuality. With this work of art, Jo Delahaut underlines simplicity and rejects - in one movement - complicated and unusual constructions. The brightly coloured parts alternate with compositions in black and white, whereas yellow, purple, blue, red and green of different widths repeat successively in horizontal, vertical or curved strips. The work of art is made of solid materials that are resistant to temperature variations and humidity, and can easily be washed so that dust and dirt can be removed.
Jo Delahaut (Vottem-lez-Liège, 1911 - Brussel, 1992)
Jo Delahaut studeerde aan de Academie van Luik. Hij is ook Doctor in de Kunstgeschiedenis aan de Universiteit van Luik. In de jaren veertig wordt hij vooral beïnvloed door de werken van schilder Auguste Herbin (1882-1960). Onder de groep schilders die «Jeune Peinture Belge» oprichtten, stelde Jo Delahaut als eerste niet-figuratieve geometrische composities tentoon. Hij werd de stuwende kracht en de woordvoerder van deze stroming. Orde, symmetrische opbouw, zuiver ritme, sereniteit en monumentaliteit kenmerken zijn werken. Hij wou kunst in het alledaagse decor inlijven en zo de mensen helpen om zich van het verleden te bevrijden en zich aan het heden aan te passen.
Jo Delahaut is lid van de «Réalités Nouvelles» (Parijs, 1946), van «La Jeune Peinture Belge» (Brussel, 1947), stichtend lid van de Belgische groep «Art Abstrait» in 1952, en co-auteur in 1954 van «Manifeste Spatialiste», samen met Pol Bury.
With this piece, the artist wanted to help humanise an environment that is marked by industry and technology. His characters are reproduced with photographic precision. The panels are placed in diamond shapes in order to break the monotony of the rectangular wall. The images are typical of Pol Mara's work: the beautiful young girl laughing, timid or provocative nudity, horses, sensuality, the "Make love, not war" atmosphere. The painting radiates the hectic pace of our time with a multitude of varied images and impressions which are characteristic of a modern metropolis. In "Thema's" the artist is rather sober in his compositions, although we can still clearly recognise his style.
Pol Mara (Antwerp, 1920 - 1998)
Pol Mara followed evening classes at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp and was a part-time student at the Nationaal Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp from 1941 to 1948.
By clearly emphasising representation in his works, he brought a personal vision of American pop art (Andy Warhol) to Belgium. His preferred themes are: advertising, film, sport, newspapers, illustrated magazines, photography, horses, speed, sex-appeal, pin-ups and cover girls. Although he draws inspiration from pop art, he also distances himself from this movement through a very personal presentation, atmosphere and climate. He has a different approach, using an attractive, charming and particularly refined rendering of lines and colours with photographic precision. Thanks to a study grant and to his own savings he travelled round the world and took part in the main international exhibitions.