BRUNO VEKEMANS // CIRCUS // GOUACHE ON PAPER // 1991
Bruno Vekemans (Antwerp, 1952), circus, signed and dated bottom right: Vekemans '91, gouache on old pattern paper, H92 x W64 cm.
In excellent condition.
Dimension including frame: H98 x W84 cm
Bruno Vekemans is part of a long tradition of Flemish painters, a tradition that has never been broken, not even when painting was pronounced dead. Vekemans does belong to the generation that had the most difficult time in being accepted as a painter.
Vekemans’s oeuvre has, from the moment that he began to draw his follies in the 1970s until today, shown a coherent progression, an almost logical evolution in which only one large digression was noticeable. This digression came around 1989, when he decided to let painting be painting and not to make any excuses for extra-pictorial stories, criticisms or analyses. He continued to radically defend this choice for the following 20 years. But even this digression did not prevent continuity from being present in his work. He continues to use the collage technique, not only technically, as a preliminary design for his paintings, but – subconsciously – philosophically, like sampling the visual culture of his times.
He is a pictorial odd-job man, in the same sense respectfully intended by Claude Lévi-Strauss in La Pensée Sauvage, a man who works with his hands and brings together existing objects to make something new. Vekemans is no philosopher, no highly-trained virtuoso painter, not a part of the artistic beau monde, but rather a worker who is fascinated by the images of his times, which he obsessively repeats and resumes in a sober, harmonious palette. And he once again dares to do what has been forbidden in the art of the 20th century for so long: experience pleasure when painting.
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