Pol Bury

Biography of Pol Bury

Pol Bury was a Belgian sculptor and painter known most prominently for his kinetic sculptures as well as his collages and paintings. He embraced all disciplines in his process of making, from literature and science to philosophy and aestheticism. Through his work he sought to push boundaries and redefine notions of movement. When discussing his practice, Pol Bury said “I am searching for the point which exists between the moving and the non-moving.”


Born in La Louvière, Belgium in 1922 Pol Bury attended the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Mons from 1938 to 1939. It was while studying here that he became interested in the work of Surrealist masters such as René Magritte and Yves Tanguy. The paintings Pol Bury produced during this period were included in the 1945 Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme held in Brussels. However, after visiting an exhibition which featured the work of Alexander Calder in 1952, he moved away from Surrealism. Fascinated by his kinetic sculptures, Pol Bury set about trying to replicate Alexander Calder’s use of movement, creating motor-propelled weathervanes. He later went on to experiment with metal sculptures and because of these materials he became known as “the master of slowness.” The artist died in 2005 in Paris.


Exhibitions of Pol Bury’s work have been at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. His work is held in the collections of many prestigious institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate gallery in London and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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