The Tour de France 1969 of Eddy Merckx captured by Jef Geys

02.05.2019 - Editorial

On Sunday July 7, the 2019 Tour de France sets off from Brussels. This is exactly 50 years after it was won for the very first time by the Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx.

The Belgian artist Jef Geys (1934-2018) spent two weeks photographing the 1969 Tour de France. The theme of his photographic reportage is not to show the glamour of the race towards the triumph, but the merging of the unusual and the everyday life of the cyclists.

The Tour de France 1969 of Eddy Merckx captured by Jef Geys

In his art, Jef Geys weaves different levels together and places them on an equal footing: a newspaper article alongside a photo, an achievement in science alongside one in sports, a famous racing cyclist alongside an ordinary cycling enthusiast. In this exhibition he again demonstrates his mastery of the contrast of High and Low, making him one of the most influential post-war Belgian artists.

The 67 black and white photographs are now being exhibited in Belgium for the very first time, 50 years after they were taken. They are shown with a montage of two pages from Belgian newspapers dated 20 and 21 July 1969, which put the event in perspective. On the day Merckx won the Tour, Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon!

The exhibition has already been successful in seven cities in France, and the accompanying book (‘234’) won the ‘Prix Bob Calle du livre d'artiste 2019’.


17.05 – 01.09.2019
Tickets: Free entrance
BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts - Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 - 1000 Brussels
Open: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 am – 6 pm & Thursdays, 10 am – 9 pm
Closed: Mondays
0032 2 507 82 00
Curators: Sylvie Boulanger en Francis Mary




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