Stefaan Steenhoudt (Kortrijk, 1942 – Ostend, 1973), or Stevv as he called himself, is a ‘blind spot’ in Flemish art historiography. Stevv was an abstract progressive artist, photographer and inventor, a friend of Fred Bervoets and Panamarenko, and represents the ‘long’ rebellious sixties in its most extreme form.
An enfant terrible, who hung cars upside down from the ceiling and drilled holes in the wall and floor of the living and artists’ commune ‘De Bakkerij’ in the heart of Antwerp. In this way he was far ahead of the American artist Gordon Matta-Clark, who nine years later would become famous in Antwerp with the project Office Baroque (1977).
Stevv was an avid photographer and made some films. An unreleased short film (Union Match, from c. 1968) was digitized by Sergio Servellón, director of the FeliXart Museum in Drogenbos, in the early 1990s, saving it for the future. This short film is also the inspiration for the exhibition. Curator Stefan Wouters and his students of his ‘Art critic’ course (KASKA) searched for other work by Stevv and discovered an unprecedented batch of photographs, silkscreens, notes and sculptures. An oeuvre that literally hasn’t seen the light of day for half a century and that forms an essential piece of the puzzle in the (art) history of the sixties in Belgium.
The exhibition Stef Steenhoudt. On the Edge fills the research module of the FeliXart Museum with archival material, constructivist screen prints that are closely related to the op-art of that period, designs for ecological engines avant la lettre and photographs that complement the artistic scene of Antwerp in 1968. Because that history has not yet been completely written. During the exhibition, the short film Union Match will be shown for the first time.