dynamic project showcases the wide-ranging oeuvre of Philippe Van Snick (Ghent, 1946 – Brussels, 2019). The exhibition is structured around ten clusters, a reference to the decimal system (0-9) that is intrinsic to Philippe Van Snick’s work. As an artist, he observed the complexity of life and the world around him. He translated his insights and reflections into a simplified visual language.
In the exhibition rooms, key works alternate with surprising and lesser-known ones. It is almost impossible to categorise Philippe Van Snick’s oeuvre due to the urge for freedom, openness and non-conformism that it expresses.
Van Snick integrated a varying system into his methodology, one that is both mathematical and poetic in nature. As early as the 1970s, he developed his own alphabet consisting of the ten numbers (0-9) and a consistent, clear, ten-colour palette. This colour scheme includes primary colours (red, yellow and blue), secondary colours (orange, green and violet), non-colours (white and black) and material colours (gold and silver). He later added light blue. Van Snick used materials and techniques economically in favour of a concentrated visual language.
Philippe Van Snick’s oeuvre shows no abrupt stylistic breaks. It is more a meandering process of reflection in which his intentions become visible. His works are characterised by a personal note, an understated artistic gesture and the echo of vulnerability. Special attention is paid to Van Snick’s intimate living environment in Brussels, his garden and home in France, and his lifelong fascination with the beautiful structures and cycles of nature. He instinctively played with natural elements in his work, which he complemented with geometric interventions.
dynamic project presents Van Snick’s first sculptural analyses and his mathematics-based explorations of time and space. Also on view are conceptual photographs and short films. The exhibition reflects on Van Snick’s later experiments with colour, in which he started mixing the ten shades. This gave rise to a more nuanced colour palette that was even closer to his internal world, while also building on his interest in the landscape, the external realm.
Philippe Van Snick’s artistic production also includes many innovative and permanent public art projects.
Curators: Marta Mestre & Luk Lambrecht
With thanks to Philippe Van Snick Estate
The Philippe Van Snick Estate was founded in 2015 by Philippe Van Snick himself at the request of his three children. They were considering the future of his oeuvre and how it could and should be managed. When Philippe Van Snick passed away in 2019, the Estate was activated.
The Philippe Van Snick Estate takes care of the artist’s oeuvre: it is responsible for the management, conservation and dissemination of his artistic legacy. Creating a complete inventory of the artworks, archival documents and artistic research is a key task. In this way, the Estate can share and activate knowledge and insight. The aim is to keep the work visible, facilitate new research and support the further internationalisation of the oeuvre through collaborations with galleries, institutions, curators, researchers, authors and artists, amongst others.
The Philippe Van Snick Estate is run by Philippe Van Snick’s wife, Marijke Dekeukeleire.
The team includes Benedicte Goesaert, artistic manager, and Camille Bladt, collection manager.
Legacy work can be understood as a caring practice. Despite the legal and financial implications, it ought to stem primarily from a love and care for the life that went into the work – from the act of pausing and spending time with the treasures and burdens that someone has left behind. While in some instances grief and sorrow may be part of the process, dealing with heritage as a caring practice is less about loss than about nurturing the work, keeping it alive beyond the lifespan of its creator, forging new connections, and preventing an artist’s legacy from slowly falling into oblivion.
Laura Herman, 2022
The Estate’s long-term is to compile a catalogue raisonné of Philippe Van Snick’s oeuvre. Owners of artworks can contact: email@example.com.