A master of carefully drawn capitals, Belgian calligrapher, Yves Leterme’s Calligraphic Paintings explode with expressive gesture.
Yves Leterme, Coup de Bleu
Yves Leterme, The Barest Essence
Looking at Leterme’s “Calligraphic Paintings,” raises a question in my mind: Leterme’s calligraphy, his “artful lettering,” shows such commitment to beautifully crafted text, how did he come to do works in which expressive gestures sometimes actually obscures the text?
Yves Leterme, A Scarcity of Letters
Yves Leterme (b. 1959 Belgium), by profession a teacher of Latin and Greek, began his study of calligraphy in 1991.
Now an internationally recognized calligrapher, Leterme also teaches lettering and calligraphy. His work is part of private and museum collections all across the world. He is co-founder, coach and chief master of the Whitespace-system, a school for contemporary calligraphy in Flanders.
4 thoughts on “What Lies Hidden in the Text”
I know it does seem strange that a calligrapher, who’s supposed to be into letters and text, chooses to render his work illegible or at least hard to read. I go back and forth on it, sometimes opting for legibility, sometimes opting only for a powerful and attractive design using traces of letters and an interesting cluster of lines, and sometimes combining both. I like the idea of a text being there without actually shouting at you. Hidden, unobtrusive and unpretentious beauty is at the center of Wabi Sabi philosophy, and I feel the same way about texts: it’s there alright, but in a quiet way, only for someone who takes the time to look carefully. It’s also a design issue: sometimes, I don’t want to ruin a nice looking painting with words, even if these words are craftily written. Also there, I think, one shouldn’t always be parading with one’s skill, as skill should be subservient to the whole design – hope you enjoy looking at my works. There’s more at http://www.yvesletermeletters.com.
Thank you for your generous reply. It is so beautifully written and helpful.
Thanks Yves, you have explained so succinctly! Kind regards. I am visiting South Africa at the moment from the UK. Hope to one day visit Bruges!
“Unpretentious beauty”…such a joy to achieve it. Yves, your calligraphic skill comes out in the beauty and elegance of the line. But I appreciate so much your choice to stop when you see beauty in the painting and allow the calligraphic lines to subtly complement. It is elegant, clear and succinct. You share simply the beauty you feel! Bravo and thank you!