Painter, engraver, furniture designer. Karel Maes studies at the academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, where he meets Réne Magritte, Victor Servranckx and Pierre-Louis Flouquet, and with whom he starts the review Le Geste in 1919. He opts for geometric abstraction and, in 1922, co-founds the review 7 Arts and contributes numerous linocuts. Friends with Jozef Peeters and Theo Van Doesburg, in 1922 he is the solo Belgian signatory to the charter published in De Stijl 'Konstruktivistische Internationale Beeldende Arbeidsgemeenschap'. He takes part in the two Kongressen voor Moderne Kunst and in the Salon of the Lanterne, exhibiting at the L'equerre stand there. He also exhibits with the Lassaut group. In 1926 he starts devoting himself to furniture design, taking on a senior position with a furniture manufacturer in Brussels, here aided by his father-in-law, Herman Teirlinck.