la-on magazine: Interview met kunstschilder Koen van den Broek
‘Mensen zal je nooit in mijn schilderijen zien, ik vind dat zij te veel aandacht wegtrekken’
In de jaren ’80 was de schilderkunst doodverklaard. Er werd een dikke penseelstreek onder het genre getrokken. Doeken waren relicten uit het verleden, het canvas van de oude Rubens en de gekke Van Gogh. Maar onverwachts verrees een nieuwe generatie. Dertig jaar later herleeft de schilderkunst als nooit tevoren en staan er verschillende Belgische kunstenaars aan de wereldtop. Onder meer Luc Tuymans, Michaël Borremans en Koen van den Broek gooien hoge ogen en trekken kijklustigen en kopers naar musea en galeries. Voor Van den Broek begon het met een omweg.
ABOUT Koen van den Broek
Born in 1973 in Bree, Belgium
Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium
Born in 1973 in the Belgian town of Bree, Van den Broek first studied architecture and subsequently painting, initially at the Royal Academy of Antwerp and then at the Academy of Visual Arts of Breda. In his opinion, despite his painting studies, he has always remained an architect at heart. Ever since his student days, van den Broek has travelled constantly: around Europe, to the USA, Mexico and even to Korea. Always with his camera close to hand. He takes photos, a lot of photos, which all depict the same subject: the architectural interventions of man on the landscape.
Early in his career, Koen van den Broek developed a fascination for desolate landscapes in which man rarely appears, but always makes his presence felt. He depicts the traces left behind on roads, streets and houses that have been abandoned. The artist’s perception of roads and borders in barren lands has provided the painter with impulses that enable him to make his specific statement on landscape painting. Van den Broek operates by turning his face downwards and zooming in on the irregularities of the pavement, on curb stones and shadows. It is this very search for a subject of representation that led the artist on a journey closer to abstraction.
Works by Koen van den Broek are part of major public collections, including the LACMA, Los Angeles; SMAK, Ghent; M HKA, Antwerp; Busan Museum of Art, Busan; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle. His work has been presented at the Venice Biennial (2015 & 2017); White Cube, London; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp and Brussels; Seoul Arts Centre, Seoul; Kunsthalle, Mannheim; Royal Academy, London; MAS, Antwerp, and Kunsthal, Rotterdam; His work can also be found in numerous public spaces in Belgium, such as the Hofkamer, Antwerp; ‘t Zilte, MAS, Antwerp; AZSM Hospital, Mechelen, and the Provinciehuis, Hasselt.