Xavier Hufkens

Jan Vercruysse

M(M9), 1993
Plaster, colours on wood
62 × 160 × 172 cm
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The art of Jan Vercruysse is based on the autonomy of the artwork and the sovereignty of the artist, and can be read as a reflection upon the ability of art to function in a contemporary context and according to its own conditions. It is an art that questions our interaction with it; an art that investigates the way we see and understand it in today’s visually overcrowded world; and an art that seeks to find, and to define, its own philosophical place within a rapidly evolving world. According to Jan Vercruysse, art no longer has a place in this world. As a result, he seeks, through his work, a new place for art and new conditions in which to work. His earliest photographic works recreated historical subjects, such as self-portraits, still lifes and mythological scenes. Gradually, he evolved a sculptural vocabulary of narrow rooms, empty frames and bases without objects. The sacred spaces created by Vercruysse in these works are known as Chambres or Tombeaux and represent the artist’s last-ditched attempts to create art that refers only to itself. His later works, such as plaster pianos, blue Murano glass musical instruments and bronze and ceramic turtles, achieve a perfect equilibrium between conceptual conviction and aesthetic concerns, and also reflect a real pleasure of making.


Jan Vercruysse is one of Belgium’s most influential artists. His work has garnered international praise and is part of many important American and European museum collections. He has presented solo exhibitions in, amongst others, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (1986), Kunsthalle in Bern (1989), Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (1990, 1997), the Belgian pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1993) and at Mies van der Rohe's Museum Haus Lange and Haus Esters in Krefeld (1995). Recently, he was the subject of a major retrospective, Jan Vercruysse, Works 1975-2009, at Museum M in Leuven, Belgium (2009). Public works include Labyrinth & Pleasure Garden #23, Knokke, Belgium (2008) and Labyrinth & Pleasure Garden #10, Clarholz, Germany (2006).


Jan Vercruysse was born in Ostend, Belgium in 1948. The artist lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.


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Places [Lost] - 9, 2010
Painted bronze (unique work)
44 × 153 × 67 cm | 17 3/8 × 60 1/4 × 26 3/8 inches

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Places [Lost] - 7, 2010
Patinated bronze (unique work)
49,5 × 298 × 88 cm | 19 1/2 × 117 3/8 × 34 5/8 inches

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PLACES (III.8) — Rochetta Tanaro, 2009
Bianco arabescato venato marble
2 × 103 × 73 cm | 3/4 × 40 1/2 × 28 11/16 inches

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Places (II.1), 2004
Black coated and painted steel
20 × 110 × 80 cm | 7 7/8 × 43 1/4 × 31 1/2 inches

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Ventaglio, 2007
wood, cor-ten steel, glass, iron
115 × 1120 × 710 cm | 45 1/4 × 441 × 279 1/2 inches

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Places (III.7), 2006
Cor-ten steel
2 × 100 × 170 cm | 3/4 × 39 3/8 × 66 7/8 inches

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Places (I.2), 2004
yellow (TiN) coated steel, 17 figures
194 × 262,3 × 0,4 cm | 76 3/8 × 103 1/4 × 1/8 inches

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Les Paroles XV, 1996
Lead on cherry wood, colours on wood
165 × 230 × 121 cm | 65 × 90 1/2 × 47 5/8 inches

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Tombeaux (X), 1994
45 red wax seals
225 × 170 × 1,5 cm | 88 5/8 × 66 7/8 × 5/8 inches

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M(M9), 1993
Plaster, colours on wood
62 × 160 × 172 cm

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M(M3), 1992
Plaster, wood and plywood, copper
55 × 160 × 154 cm | 21 5/8 × 63 × 60 5/8 inches

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Tombeaux, 1991
White ceramic tiles on rusted steel
140 cm | 55 1/8 inches

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Tombeaux #3, 1988 (1991)
Works in 2 parts, musical instrument (trombone), single shelf, cobalt blue glass, leather and steel

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Tombeaux, 1990
Cobalt blue glass sheets, iron rods
1,5 × 660 × 330 cm | 5/8 × 259 7/8 × 129 7/8 inches

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Tombeaux, 1989
Black pigmented varnish on wood, copper
175 × 100 × 50 cm | 68 7/8 × 39 3/8 × 19 5/8 inches

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Tombeaux, 1989
Black pigmented varnish on wood
92 × 75 × 45 cm | 36 1/4 × 29 1/2 × 17 3/4 inches

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A.,A.,B.,, 1987(1994)-1996
Two open frames in one corner, framed barite prints: erotic dyptich, three marble designs
dimensions variable

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Zonder Titel (Zelfportretten) XI, 1980
Photolithoprint on paper
work in four parts (a) : 33.5 × 37.5 cm, (b) : 31 × 31 cm, (c) : 33.5 × 37.5 cm, (d) : 23 × 18.5 cm

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Exhibitions

2014

Jan Vercruysse
CHARLIE WAS A SAILOR
& a constellation(s) of works from 1988 through 2011

2010

Jan Vercruysse
Places [Lost]

Publications

Jan Vercruysse, Works 1977-2009

essays by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (interview), Pascal Rousseau, Jan Vercruysse
published by M. M van Museum, Leuven - 2009
ISBN 978-90-81409-70-4

Jan Vercruysse, Les Paroles Vol.1

text by Alain Cueff
published by Xavier Hufkens, Brussels - 1999
ISBN 90-804944-1-0


Jan Vercruysse, Kunsthalle Bern 1989

published by Ludion, Ghent/Amsterdam - 1999
ISBN 90-5544-268-2

Jan Vercruysse, Portraits of the Artist

essay by Pier Luigi Tazzi
published by Yves Gevaert, Brussels and Ludion, Ghent
with the support of Xavier Hufkens, Brussels - 1997
ISBN 90-5544-099-X