CINCINNATI.- Berry van Boekel is a Columbus, Ohio-based artist. His intensely obsessive ongoing project documenting the bands and musicians he listens to, has developed an avid following of art collectors, curators and music fans around the world.
Van Boekel writes "In February 1983, aged 18 years oldin the midst of exploring music, I made a chart of the 10 tracks that Id enjoyed most. Then three days later I made another one and Ive continued to do so every three or four days ever since. At the end of each year I collect all charts and compile a list of 100 songs from it. 2008 marked the 25th anniversary of such lists. In 1986 I started to illustrate the lists, first with the copy machine but soon I started to draw. The Top 100 of 1991 was the first in which all one hundred entries were drawn by hand. I have claimed many times that a particular year was going to be the last one but instead I continue with more zeal every year."
Van Boekel marks the beginning of each year with an exhibition of paintings featuring the Top 100 songs he heard the previous year. Firmly rooted in portraiture and gure painting, his work nonetheless is able explore a variety of stylistic approaches. The simple elegant concept of the list not only allows for experimentation with a wide range of musical tastes but also gives van Boekel license to evoke different moods and sensibilities within the paintings.
In 1993, he also began assembling small handmade Top 100 books that he would give away to friends. Typically he would make only a handful of these documents. On the occasion of this exhibition, Country Club/Iconoclast will issue an edition of 100 books from van Boekel's Top 100 of 2009, bringing his idiosyncratic list- and image-making available to an even wider audience.
Van Boekel has exhibited with the prestigious alternative non-prot space White Columns in New York; Skylab in Columbus; Reed Gallery at the University of Cincinnati; and with the NADA Art Fair in Miami. This is van Boekel's first exhibition with Country Club. Van Boekel moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1993 from the Netherlands. He received an MFA from The Ohio State University where he continues to teach and work as the Head Preparator for the OSU Art Department.