Pieter Vermeersch’s artistic research into painting expands beyond the confinement of the canvas. The Belgian artist uses and explores representation and abstraction as parameters and his work is often expressed by spatial interventions in which the boundaries of perception are investigated.
For his fourth presentation at ProjecteSD, a newly developed series of works of different formats and techniques unfold in the gallery space in parallel with a smooth dégradé wall painting that wraps and holds these works to create an immersive painterly installation where two dimensions expand to become three, and where the viewer is confronted between the stillness and movement of an image that, when looked at long enough, seems to transform itself.
Everything is connected to some part of reality in Vermersch’s work. His non-representational, shimmering color field paintings that may at first appear to be associated to a tradition of monochromatic abstraction, are based on “real” images. Often they result from photographs of his own paintings, painting activities or cloudless skies at sunset that the artist photographs himself and prints in negative, in an attempt to experiment on a “non visible”, elusive, or intangible side of reality or “image-making”. The paintings, then, are anything but abstract, but rather moving towards a “realism” that is simultaneously detached and immersive.
Painting and photography merge again in Vermeersch’s work, in his recent series of quasi-monochrome small photographic prints coated with a few blots of paint, fingerprint-like attempts of the artist to approximate the color of the photographic image in paint. Also here, there is an attempt to break the illusory fabric of both photography’s and painting’s two-dimensional pictorial space - a scratching of the surface that hopes to reveal what lies behind, beyond the picture. A personal way of reading the image that translates perhaps in an ongoing, unfinished work process.
Vermeersch’s multilayered installation triggers the experience of infinite perceptions in which we move around within a “colourness” of appearance and disappearance, where the divisions between two and three dimensional, surface and volume, time and space are blurred. Maybe there is a reason why Vermeersch prefers not to title his works: so that they can exist as artworks, in its all directness and paradoxically changing quality, both ephemeral and still at once.