His debut at the Brussels gallery Centauri

Galerie Le Centaure, Brussels, 1927, 34 sculptures and 30 gouaches

From the 1920s onwards, Zadkine's work was exhibited in galleries in Brussels and Antwerp, and appreciated by Belgian collectors. “At La Rotonde I knew many Belgian and Dutch painters; they liked my sculpture so much that they wrote about it to Brussels and Rotterdam. That's why, when Modi died, I was invited to Brussels to exhibit at “Le Centaure”, an Art Nouveau gallery which had just opened. [It was not the Le Centaure gallery but the Sélection gallery, in 1920, the date of Modigliani’s death]. This gallery brought together poets, musicians, painters and Belgian art lovers. It was in this gallery that I got to know André de Ridder [de Ridder managed the Sélection gallery with Van Hecke] Permeke, Gustave de Smet and Fritz Vandenberg: it was thanks to this group of writers and artists that I met my first art lovers. M. Gustave van Hecke, M. and Mme Hoffman Stellin and M. Pecher bought drawings and sculptures from me. I liked Belgium a lot; its Flemish painters had a very nice way of appreciating what I was doing. My friendship with G. Pe Smet was to remain strong: when he came to Paris my studio became his home.

 Van Hecke was a Belgian collector, the founder of the Norine fashion house and also director of the magazine Sélection (1921-1927), the Sélection gallery, in Brussels, which he co-directed with André de Ridder (1920-1922), and then of the magazine Variétés.

 He had 4 of Zadkine's sculptures in his possession. In 1928, a monograph edition of the Sélection magazine, published in Antwerp, was devoted to him, including texts by Pierre Humbourg and Waldemar George as well as numerous illustrations.