Jan Vercruysse

Year and place of birth: 1948, Ostend, Belgium Location: +2018, Bruges, Belgium

Vercruysse’s entire oeuvre is an investigation into the role that art and artists can play in our society. Furthermore, he always took a specific question as the starting point for a new series of works. From the mid-1970s, the artist mainly made photo (self) portraits. In series such as ‘Chambres’ (1983-86) and ‘Atopies’ (1985-87), his attention shifted to sculptural still lifes that reference the theatre and architecture. Columns, furniture, frames and mirrors form strange ensembles that evoke a sense of desolation. ‘Atopie’ literally means ‘non-place’ and, in this case, it seems to be the opposite of ‘utopia’, a highly resonant term in a world of empty ideals. Vercruysse also emphasised absence in his series ‘Tombeaux’ (1987-94). He exhibited chairs and plinths that, despite being empty, suggest the presence of a person or an artwork.


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