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Galerie Greta Meert in Brussels opens Belgian painter Koen van den Broek's 'The Dell'
Koen van den Broek, ref. 2191. 2014 Oil on canvas 100 x 150 cm.

BRUSSELS.- Galerie Greta Meert announces “The Dell”, the third solo exhibition of Belgian painter Koen van den Broek (1973, Bree). Van den Broek’s work draws from a strict lexicon of formal motifs: borders, shadows, cracks, pavements, kerbs and gutters. Just as these human interventions cut, draw and redraw the contemporary urban landscape, their linear qualities organise the planar surface of Van den Broek’s paintings.

The motifs originate in the American hinterland that is photographically documented during his numerous travels. With Van den Broeks’s recent work in mind, it becomes more and more clear that the subsequent reworking of the photographic material on the canvas is a continuous questioning of the possibilities of representation, working towards an autonomous abstract oeuvre.

Earlier series such as ‘Chicane’ (2013), ‘Apex’ (2013) and ‘Yaw’ (2013) explored a profound formal purification.

Placed in strict superposition along a vertical axis, emphasising their pictorial qualities, the earlier mentioned motifs became estranged from their original context and lost all referentiality.

‘The Dell’ under-scribes a similar ambition, turning the experiment towards the use of colour. While in the past, the artist’s landscapes were usually dominated by the stunning Californian sunlight, colours remained overall realistic, at most impressionist. ‘The Dell’ however is a true explosion of colour, again freeing the composition of any conventions or traditions related to the painterly tradition of representation. Also adding another variation that allows him to revisit his oeuvre, to the point of conceptual repetition.

The artist’s work has always demonstrated an accurate knowledge of and preoccupation with the heritage of 20th century art, from Matisse to American Colour Field Painting. Recently, on an irregular basis, this is outside of his serial work, very precise masterpieces from Renaissance Painting are being incorporated in his work. After the outlines of the ‘Madonna’ of Jean Fouquet, Van den Broek now integrated and reworked the ‘waves’ of Canaletto, reworking them as formal motif and thus integrating them into his lexicon.

Koen van den Broek lives and works in Antwerp. He has shown in many museum exhibitions including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; DA2, Salamanca; Museo Alto Garda, Trento; Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) and Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA), Antwerp, including a major retrospective at SMAK, Ghent, in 2010.

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