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Jos de gruyter & Harald thys

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys have worked together since the second half of the 1980s and are best known for their videos. In their video work, there is a disturbing intimacy between the actors. The slow and monotonous dialogues, derived from theater dramaturgy and inspired by children's television, add to this ominous feeling.


The actors they use are mostly amateur and are friends and family of the artists. The exaggerated gestures, gloomy environments and sad and degenerate characters, isolated from the rest of the world, suggest an outside world that is an invisible presence.


The work finds its origin in a wide variety of sources of inspiration, from certain key scenes from the films of Fassbinder, Visconti and Robert Bresson, to clandestine reality programs, the arsenal of anonymously produced films on YouTube, but also to traumatizing confrontations that they experienced the years with specific places and individuals.

In 2019 they represented Belguim at the 58th Venice Biennale. They filled the paviloin with moving dolls which were dressed up as artisans. The side spaces were closed off with grilles, this is where the psychopaths, the madmen and the marginal live. It causes an explicit evocation of the threating outside world which is always underlyingly present in the works of Gruyter & Thys. 

Sofacq Gallery is the largest collector of Harald Thys and Jos De Gruyter in the world to date.


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald, Keizer Ro: Het verslag van een staatsgreep in onze gewesten1993.

Mixed media, variable dimensions.


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald, Maurice De Wilde2018.

Plaster, paint and mixed media, 44 x 20,5 x 20,5 cm 


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald, Twee Vagebonden2013.

 2 Puppets with polystyrene heads, metal skeleton and clothing, variable dimensions.


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald,

`Die schmutzigen Puppen von Pommern 0202013.

Sackcloth, hay, straw and fabric, 190 x 70 x 30 cm


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald, Skeletten2009.

9 Black-and-white prints mounted on MDF,

9 x (84 x 119 cm).


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald, Stellenbosch2015.

Pencil and watercolour on off-white cardboard in wooden frame, 60 x 80 cm.


De Gruyter Jos & Thys Harald, So ist das2013.

2 Skeletons, plastic table and chair, parasol, cognac glasses, variable dimensions.

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