"Laveren met boten en bloemen" by Loïc Van Zeebroek

Laveren met boten en bloemen


Dauwens & Beernaert is pleased to present “Laveren met boten en bloemen” by Loïc Van Zeebroek (°1994, MFA St.-Lucas, Gent). The exhibition marks the artist’s second solo presentation at the gallery’s since joining the gallery, in 2016.

Loïc Van Zeebroek’s  paintings question the construction of the pictorial image, from figuration to abstraction and vice-versa.

The exhibition highlights how the artist is continuing to mine the expressive potential of utilitarian and overromanticized objects such as checkered tablecloths, scale models and embroideries, to increasingly poetic and unexpected ends.

A series of untitled seascapes (Z.T.) - depicting waves - gracefully distill the power of the ocean into a two-dimensional image that's as deceptively simple as it is mesmerizing. By reproducing the same subject multiple times, the artist both explores the potential as well as the limits of the painterly process: representing the non-representable, in this case a constantly moving massive volume of water. The theme of multiplication is further explored in an oil painting (Z.T.) which reproduces and juxtaposes the same mountain and valley eight times on one single canvas. Whereas postcards and photography allow for the reproduction of the same image multiple times, the painterly process only allows for similarity, but and therefore also for unicity.

Painting is also a process of trial and error, destruction and erasing.  A series of black overpainted and erased paintings (titled Verschoppelingen / Outcasts) were brought together as an assemblage. Gathered together, these stillborn ideas,  allow for new possibilities: they encourage viewers to embrace imperfection and to find poetry in failure and incomplete and passing things.

A series of seemingly abstract oil paintings are reminiscent of checkered table clothes. One of these works is painted on a table top and is therefore a typical example of the he artist’s investigation of the duality between représentant and représenté. These ungraspable works consist of rows of alternating white and red or black stripes. The repetitive patterns and the strong contrast deceive the eye and develop a disturbing optical illusion providing a sense of vibration and disorientation that constantly puts the viewer on the wrong track.

The construction of the pictorial image is further explored in two semi-abstract landscape paintings (Z.T.). The landscapes were based on embroideries, which are on their turn also constructed by means of abstract pixels (multiple cross-stiches).  On one of these paintings the artist removed and blurred the protagonist – a shepherd – from the scenery. This decontextualizing intervention completely changes the atmosphere.  A romantic scenery is turned into a dystopian one. It invokes a sense of despair and conjures up feelings of anxiety and loneliness that are, with social distancing measures and lockdowns in place, -  characteristic for these times.

Work by the artist is held in the collection of Museum Voorlinden (the Hague), S.M.A.K. (Ghent).