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Jan Vercruysse

°1948, Ostend (BE) – lives and works in Brussels (BE)

Jan Vercruysse is one of Belgium’s most influential artists. His work developed from his poetry, when in 1974 he stopped writing poems to concentrate on the visual arts. Vercruysse’s artistic practice is based on the autonomy of the artwork and the sovereignty of the artist. According to Vercruysse, art no longer plays a role in this world. In this way, his oeuvre can be divided into distinct series, in which each series means a new investigation concerning the place of art and the artist in the contemporary society.

His multifaceted career ranges from early photographic works, recreating historical subjects (self-portraits, still-lives, mythological scenes, etc.), to empty frames and bases without objects. Furthermore, his famous series Chambres or Tombeaux from the 1980s represent the artist’s last-ditched attempts to create art that refers only to itself. Often, Vercruysse’s works seem to be traces of a world that never existed and never will, but one that still appears to be recognisable.

Jan Vercruysse has presented solo exhibitions in, amongst others, The Power Plant, Toronto; Kunsthalle, Bern; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Krefelder Museen, Krefeld; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Museum M, Leuven; and Centro Arti Visive Pescheria, Pesaro.

His work has also been shown in the Belgian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993 and 1995 and is part of numerous important European and American collections, such as the collection of Tate, London; MoMA, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; MhKA, Antwerp; Herbert Foundation, Ghent; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
In 2001, Jan Vercruysse was awarded the Flemish Culture Prize for Visual Arts.

Jan Vercruysse is represented by the following gallery;
click through to discover more of his work.

Xavier Hufkens, Brussels