°1957, Kortrijk (BE). Lives and works in Ghent (BE)
Hans Vandekerckhove stands alone in contemporary painting, his art being a result of introspective concentration and evolution rather than a reaction on existing styles or trends. The central element or motivation in the work of this artist is to contemplate things in order to transform an everyday reality into a poetic world of motionless beauty. This transformation turns objects into phenomenon, and persons into beings. In this quest for clarity and mystery the painter has found inspiration in gardens and landscapes all over Europe. He often transposes landscapes into an almost virtual setting, away from past or present. These works are all about imagination and sub consciousness, but they are often based on observations made during walks or during secluded stays. His most recent paintings examine the relation between nature and culture.
Hans Vandekerckhove primarily paints spaces as retreats. Sometimes the observer can recognize one or more figures – possibly the artist himself, since he takes as much pleasure in gracing his own paintings, as he does walking through the open countryside. Vandekerckhove’s pictorial compositions are based on the impressions he gains on these walks. In contrast to photography, which captures a fleeting moment in time or mediates a specific atmosphere, Vandekerckhove is seeking in his work to conjure a magical world – a realm, in which painting rests in the conviction that something magical is concealed within our world: the attest to this yearning for the paradisiacal, primordial state which he detects in landscapes and architecture.
Over the years, Vandekerckhove’s expressionistic vocabulary has evolved into a well-defined technique and personal style which – rejecting any fashionable trends – is characterized by an unconventional palette of colours and a contemplative aura.