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The circus is in town

The circus is in town, 2016 - Bas van den Hurk

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The circus is in town, 2016

Bas van den Hurk  

Print, Painting
46 x 63 x 2 cm / 18.11 x 24.8 x 0.79 inch
Unique painting in edition of 10 variations, signed and numbered by the artist

  • Medium: Silkscreen, oil paint and powder pigment on silk in artist plexi-box frame
  • This work is framed in an artist plexi-box frame
  • The first image shows the painting, the second and third image are referrence images showing the plexi-box frame
  • Ships within 5 business days from Belgium

about this work

For this new series, Bas van den Hurk started with one large piece of silk. He proceeded to wrinkle the material and printed a pattern on it - based on the famous image of the Pierrot-Éclair costume designed by modernist artist Sonia Delaunay for the 1926 film Le P’tit Parigot. Next, van den Hurk cut the silk in pieces, individually stretched it on frames and painted on them, using oil paint and powder pigment. Finally, he mounted the painted silk in ten plexiglass cases.

Sonia Delaunay is not the only artist whose work echoes through this series. Other images have had a prominent place in van den Hurk’s studio while working on this series. Amongst them is Picasso’s painting for the United Nations in Paris, as well as images from Richard Aldrich and Raoul De Keyser. While working, Bas van den Hurk always listens to music, and elements of these songs often find their way into his work. The title of this edition is a line from Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row.

This edition consists of ten unique paintings on draped silk, individually framed in plexiglass cases. The artist likes how the very rigid form of the plastic case opposes the organic shape of the roughly cut un-stretched silk. At the same time, the reflective character of the plexi is a continuation of the reflection of light on the silk. This presents painting as a medium that is open to movement and not static, how it is often perceived.

Pleae note: Since the plexiglass case is quite fragile, we only send this work in a custom-made crate. Upon checkout, the production cost of this crate (€100) is already included in the shipping price. If you prefer to not pay for a custom-made crate and want to pickup the work yourself in Brussels, please contact us at

about Bas van den Hurk

Bas van den Hurk’s process-based practice explored the boundaries of painting. His works relate strongly to art history – to specific viewing points and ways of expressing characteristic to early twentieth century modernism. In modernism, different visions and styles remain strictly separate - minimalism, abstract expressionsim, pop art. In van den Hurk’s practice, the distinctions between these modernist art movements fade away.

Characteristic for van den Hurk’s intuitive way of painting is a multilingualism, uniting a multitude of modernist languages, styles and techniques. His most recent works for example combine abstract expressionist gestures in oil paint with pop-like patterns, printed on wrinkled silk.

To Van den Hurk, collaborating with others is important. This collaborative character of van den Hurk’s practice is another link to early modernism. He shares modernist’s utopian ideal that art is not something made in a vacuum, but is always part of the life we’re living. That’s why Bas van den Hurk often collaborates on projects like clothing or architectural designs.

Since collaborations are central to Bas van den Hurk’s practice, his solo exhibitions often evolve into duo or even group shows. He’s had solo and duo exhibitions at – among others – La Brea Studio, Los Angeles; Hopstreet, Brussels; Jerome Pauchant, Paris; RH Contemporary, New York; Ginerva Gambino, Cologne; Metafora, Barcelona; and P///AKT, Amsterdam.
His work was part of group shows around the world, including at Berthold Pott, Cologne; Middlemarch, Brussels; Autocenter, Berlin; De Vleeshal, Middelburg; Extra-City, Antwerp; The Neutra Museum, Los Angeles; VM Gallery, Karachi; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

Bas van den Hurk is represented by the following gallery; 

click through to discover more of his work.

Rod Barton, London 

 You can also see more of Bas van den Hurk’s work on his own website.  

Learn more about this artist