Gaston De Vel

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About Gaston De Vel

Gaston De Vel 1924 - 2010

In 1960, Belgium born and trained impressionist, Gaston De Vel arrived in Wellington. A graduate of the Academie Royal des Beaux Arts, Brussels, one of his most influencial tutors was Alfred Bastien, a friend and colleague of Claude Monet and John Singer Sargent. Gaston was one of the last painters to have been taught in the classical and impressionistic fashion by a tutor directly involved with principal artists of that movement. He enjoyed a successful 13 year career in the Belgium Congo until political events took a dramatic turn and he departed for New Zealand.

During the next thirty years Gaston lived in Hamilton and Orewa frequently returning to Europe to paint. He was hugely influential here as both an artist and a teacher, and in 1969 was awarded the Kelliher Art Prize. By the mid 1970s he was exhibiting at McGregor Wrights Gallery, Wellington, Lewis Pape Gallery, Lower Hutt and International Art Centre, Auckland. Gaston's paintings, so full of light and colour were a breath of fresh air and a source of inspiration to both the public and artistic community of the day. During one of his last interviews with the late art publisher Denis Robinson, Gaston stated "I would like to think I have contributed something to this part of the world. I hope so because when I first came it was such an artistically desolate place."

Gaston De Vel is represented in the permanent collection of Dunedin Public Art Gallery and in private collections worldwide.