Belgian poet, photographer, film-maker and artist. Born in Brussels. Began as a poet and aged 16-17 had some contacts with the Belgian Surrealists, especially Magritte, who gave him a copy of Mallarmé's Un Coup de Dés. (Magritte's paintings with words, in which there is a contradiction between the painted word and the painted object, were later a crucial influence on him). Started in 1958 to publish articles illustrated with his own photographs. At the end of 1963 decided to become an artist and began to make objects. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie St Laurent, Brussels, 1964. Exhibited everyday objects, words, lettering, child-like drawings etc., often with verbal-visual puns; made books, catalogues, prints on everything from canvases attached to the wall to reliefs in plastic. Made his first film in 1957 and from 1967 a number of short films. In 1968 established a 'Museum of Modern Art' of postcards of paintings and packing cases in his house in Brussels, followed by various other installation-structures. From late 1969 lived mainly in Düsseldorf, Berlin and finally London. Died in Cologne.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.80