In a flowerbed in the Stationsstraat, near the Market Square, our attention is drawn to the tranquility and elegance exuded by the bronze sculpture "Zittend Naakt – Seated Nude" by Willy Kreitz.

This 1955 sculpture’s aim is simply “to be beautiful". It celebrates the beauty of the human figure. The seated position of the young woman with her legs raised, entwined by both arms, brings together all the dynamic forces and gives this figure a stable balance. The serene expression on the face contrasts with the playful ponytail.

Because of its compact simplicity of form, the design was ideal to be cut from a single block of bluestone. The stone original is included in the permanent collection of the Middelheim open air museum in Antwerp. Kreitz is typically a sculptor of work in open spaces. His design language is typical of the 1930-1940 era: an idealization of the human figure, stripped of superfluous details, emphasising the design’s beauty. Through this design, the sculpture loses nothing of its formality, even when seen from farther off. Kunst in de Stad had the artwork executed in bronze.

In his work Willy Kreitz nurtures a great interest in the human body, preferably the female nude.  He avoids gestures that are obstructive. After all, the static figure is one of the noblest forms of sculpture. His work is characterized by a view of size and purity. For a time he was influenced by modernist movements but ultimately he remained faithful to a more traditional design. This sculpture too shows those typical characteristics, particularly a clear design, a composition stripped of all superfluous details and powerful technical execution. For Willy Kreitz sculpture means 'creating beauty'.


KREITZ Willy (1903-1982)

Willy Kreitz studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (Van Lerius Prize) and then at the National Higher Institute (including at the Ernest Wijnants studio). In 1932 he won the "Grand Prix of Rome". In 1936 he became a teacher at the academy. From 1964 to 1968 he replaced Mark Macken at the Higher Institute in Antwerp.





Kunst in de Stad, September 7th 1985