Koen van den Broek: Cut Away the Snoopy

Koen van den Broek: Cut Away the Snoopy
Library Shelf Location 18.BROE
Publication Date 2014

This fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.Koen van den Broek: Cut Away the Snoopy 25 June – 2 August 2014, featuring a dialogue between the artist and John C . Welchman 

Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present ‘ Koen van den Broek: Cut Away the Snoopy ’ . This will be the second exhibition of the renowned Belgian artist at the gallery and marks a turning point in his artistic practice.

Widely known for his series of paintings inspired by unconventional perspective, for the past decade Koen van den Broek has been consistently influenced by urban landscape. Van den Broek often ex perienced these landscapes whilst on road journeys in the United States, where he would focus on one detail, taking hundreds of snapshots that he could later use as source material for his canvases. The detail might be a section of a road, cracks in the as phalt, or a particular shape of shadow.

The expression ‘ Cut Away the Snoopy ’ was used by the sculptor John Chamberlain to designate his notion of the artist ’ s obligation to remove those recognisable elements or points of association that occur in the comp osition for the sake of pure form. The exhibition, which is named after Chamberlain ’ s expression, marks a turning point in van den Broek ’ s practice, as he pushes all remaining figurative elements towards the field of complete abstraction. The paintings exhibited no longer relate to any specific spaces, allowing the artist to be free from the constraints of referentiality. Rather than drawing from photographs, as he has done for many years, van den Broek now re works recurring features in his previous paintings , evolving his own formal vocabulary, combining into new compositions. The shadows that once marked van den Broek ’ s earlier paintings, for example, now become formal devices, repeating their configurations from one painting to another, to the point of conceptual serialism. In this way the new paintings are more overtly abstract, and almost completely detached from any source material or reference to specific landscapes. While van den Broek ’ s ‘ Torque ’ and ‘ Bird s ’ series of paintings perfectly match Chamberlain ’ s turn of phrase, highlighting the painterly repetition at their origin, Mistress reworks Jean Fouquet ’ s Madonna and Child , housed in the Koninklijk Museum in Antwerp. In 2011 he was invited to respond to this iconic painting as part of a survey of five cen turies of painting in Antwerp. His response, an outline of the instantly recognisable figures in Fouquet ’ s original, moves towards abstraction, whilst paying homage to the original. Since then, van den B roek has appropriated this form, reworking it as a formal motif in a continuing series of paintings. Mistress , the most recent of this series , goes further, integrating several of the formal motifs with which he has worked in the past few years into one composition.

ISBN 9781909693081
Quantity 1
Pages 48
Author John C Welchman
Format Softcover
Publisher Marlborough Contemporary
Related Artist Koen van den Broek
Category Painting
Keywords Abstract (fine arts style), Abstract painting, Urban Landscape
Artist's Nationality Belgian

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