Hubert J.A. Minnebo (Bruges, 6 February 1940) is a Flemish visual artist. He started out as a painter, etcher and draftsman. He continued his way through aluchromy, or the manufacture of sculptures in chrome aluminum, and through the manufacture of copper reliefs. Eventually he gradually turned into a designer of bronzes, monumental sculptures and gold jewellery. Minnebo's works cannot be captured in one particular style.
Youth and education
Minnebo was born in Bruges into a working-class family. He was the second of three sons of Alfons Minnebo (1905-1985), a mechanic at the chemical factory UCB in Zandvoorde (Ostend) and of Zulma Cordy (1910-2007).
When the Second World War broke out in 1940 and his father had to take up arms, the family moved to Ruddervoorde. They lived there until 1946 and then moved to Ostend, which already produced great artists such as James Ensor, Léon Spilliaert, Constant Permeke and the post-war painters such as Jan De Clerck and Maurice Boel.
He completed primary education at the Maria School and the Leopold School. He then attended the Municipal Technical Institute and obtained the diploma A2 mechanics there in 1958.
At the age of twelve he started evening courses at the Ostend Academy. He was taught there by well-known names such as Gustaaf Sorel, Raoul Servais and the Bruges post-impressionist painter René Vanden Berghe. During this time he set up his first painting studio in the attic of the parental home.
In the Ostend art bars “Het Kroegske” by the painter Joris Houwen and “La Chèvre Folle” by Alain Depiere he got to know a few other Ostend artists, including Yves Rhayé, Jef van Tuerenhout and Elias.
Having recently graduated from vocational school, he hitchhiked to Paris and was able to train for a short time at the famous Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Here he drew his first nudes and female silhouettes, from which a clear influence of Constant Permeke is recognizable. As a co-driver of coaches he traveled all over Europe, which gave him the opportunity to work for some time in Oskar Kokoschka's studio in Salzburg.
In 1958, at the age of eighteen, he held his first exhibition together with Lucien Catherin. The location was Hugo Anthierens' Tattoo Gallery on the Ostend fish market and Minnebo showed a number of figurative paintings with landscapes, seascapes and terraces.
Shortly afterwards he had to do his military service, first in Belgium and then in Germany. When his superiors in Euskirchen, Germany, discovered that an artist was present in the barracks, he was asked to paint the officers' mess.
He retired in 1960 and shortly afterwards held his second exhibition, this time in the art pub “La Chèvre Folle” in Ostend. From this point on, he would hold one or more one-man exhibitions in Belgium almost every year, as well as group exhibitions in several countries, including Japan.
Minnebo kept looking for his own style. Lacking the money to buy canvas, he painted his first paintings on unalit, or softboard panels made of wood fibres. These paintings resemble stained glass and are characterized by a lively colorite with bright colors and thick, black lines.
Painting never became Minnebo's full sympathy and his preference was more towards drawing, an art form that he continued to practice and develop throughout his career. From 1966-1967 he drew his figures with hundreds of fine stripes, ending upright with a curl, close together or further apart, giving the shape of the figure a certain depth.
Searching and scanning while designing his drawings ensured that he gradually developed