Tinus Vermeersch - ABSENS 12 March - 23 April 2011
”Like an archeologist I’m in search for the story between
the few scattered remains I have collected and inventoried.
HOPSTREET ist happy to present new works by Belgian artist Tinus Vermeersch (°1976 -Kortrijk)
It’s a world in its own right which one encounters in the drawings and paintings of Tinus Vermeersch. While earlier works were populated by little creatures, pursuing mysterious activities and unknown rituals, the recent show with the telling title “Absens” feature unidentifiable props and artefacts: forms and shapes that seem vaguely familiar – husks, pods, feathers, cells, hair? – but don’t reveal their original meaning or function beyond emphasising the absence of any being who could make use of them.
The artist seems to give a hint by naming his works, but these, seemingly matter-of-factly, titles don’t really give a clue of the origin or the purpose of the depicted motives. Some of them are named “Tegumen” – but what does this actually mean? If you look it up, you find its meaning in the Latin dictionary: A tegumen signifies a shell, a wrap or a husk. A picture search in the internet leads to a somewhat peculiar selection of images, among them depictions of skin, cells and organs of butterflies – obviously, with his mysterious, scientific sounding titles the artist, rather than defining the meaning of what is on his paintings, aims to give our thinking a little push into a certain direction without confining it.
”I like seeing my work as fragments and hints of lost epic times and vernacular societies, as parts or details ripped out of a larger context”, the artist says, referring to himself as a archeologist of sorts who is “in search for the story between the few scattered remains I have collected and inventoried”. The viewer is invited to be part of this search and to put together the pieces of his or her own story for which Tinus Vermeersch provides his finds and fragments.
Apart from the specific motivic choice of mysterious objects and artefacts, Tinus Vermeersch’s paintings are characterized by their outstanding technical precision and beauty as well as by the inherent reminscence of great art historical ancestors, such as Peter Breughel and Hieronymus Bosch. All works in the show are painted with egg tempera on paper and demonstrate the artist’s ability to evoke a whole universe with only a few brush strokes and a particulary sensitive use of colour. After all, the artist says,“most of my work is about searching for technical refinement in painting itself and the joy of making images.”
At HOPSTREET, this painted collection of relicts is complemented by a new sculpture which opens Tinus Vermeersch’s mystic cosmos into a spatial dimension.
Barbara J. Scheuermann, Berlin