Olivier Strebelle decorates the world's major cities with his sculptures
Olivier Strebelle was born in Uccle on 20 January 1927 into a family of artists; his father Rodolphe was already a well-known painter at the time. The man whom the press dubbed the "Belgian Picasso" in 2001, during a major open-air exhibition in Paris, was certainly the best known Belgian sculptor in the world. His monumental works have not only become Belgian icons, they also appear in famous locations abroad.
Trained in ceramics and sculpture at the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre, Brussels, from 1943 to 1946, he decided to devote himself solely to sculpture in 1956, after winning the Prix de Rome. Previously, in 1949, with Alechinsky, Reinhoud, Dotremont and Olyff, he had also been one of the founders of the Ateliers du Marais in Brussels, one of the sites for the expression of the CoBrA movement.
His monumental works accompany history, architecture and humans in the city. His works can be seen both around the world and in his own country. He responded to numerous public commissions for urban spaces in Europe, the United States and Asia. These works include "Le Bon Génie" for the University of Jerusalem, "The Lions" in Atlanta and the "Protecting Eagle VI" in St. Louis. "L'Allée des Athlètes" was a gift from the Belgian State to China to mark the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. "Abduction of Europa" is displayed on Europe Square in Moscow. His " Between sea and sky" can be found in Singapore. In Belgium, his works are scattered throughout the country, including "Phoenix 44" on Avenue Louise in Brussels, the "Jardin Eolien" at UCLouvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, "Cheval Bayard" which spans the Meuse in Namur, "Confluences" at the European Parliament in Brussels, and the "La Vague" fountain in Courtrai.
In addition to his artistic work, Olivier Strebelle taught at several Belgian and foreign academies and universities, and was a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium (Fine Arts and Letters class). He passed away in 2017 at the age of 90.
photo Patricia Mathieu pour Mu in the City.