The exhibition at S.M.A.K. showed work by Joris Ghekiere from the late 1990s to the present. The exhibition was curated by Ulrich Loock.
As a painter, Joris Ghekiere (1955, Kortrijk) occupies a highly individual and ambiguous position. He explores a variety of painting techniques and styles, rather than tying himself down to just one. His own photos and images from the internet often provide the starting point. This results in an oeuvre in which figurative depiction and abstract images interact with each other. Ghekiere is fascinated by uncomplicated, clichéd beauty: still-lifes with plants or flowers, or portraits of dolled-up ladies and suchlike. He questions this sort of beauty by means of an unusual range of colours, shades of colour that bleed into one another, negative images and distorted compositions. Beauty is subject to evolution and is, after all, ultimately transient. The circles rippling outwards that the artist often sprays on top of his images give the feeling that his paintings are variable and mobile and that several perspectives exist in parallel within a single image. Ghekiere both literally and figuratively puts beauty in a new perspective. At the same time his artistic intervention undermines the comprehensibility of his images from the inside out: clichéd beauty with no complexes is converted into a new aesthetic characterised by an impalpable complexity. And it is precisely this elusiveness that is the challenge when looking at Ghekiere’s paintings. Like that of many Belgian painters of his generation, Joris Ghekiere’s oeuvre is in line with the form of contemporary painting that questions the nature of the image. The medium of painting itself is employed to enquire into the image both visually and in terms of its content. The exhibition at the S.M.A.K. shows work from the late 1990s to the present. This exhibition is curated by Ulrich Loock. As an art critic and a curator working at different international institutions Loock has made contemporary painting a particular field of his expertise