Jan Verbruggen – Thesauros, The Treasury

Solo Exhibition, Painting, Installation, Social Art

04.01.2020 2pm  - 18.01.2020 7pm

With the debut exhibition on SomoS’ 2020 program, between January 4 and 18, SomoS starts the year on an experimental and democratic note, presenting Belgian visual artist Jan Verbruggen’s solo exhibition Thesauros, The Treasury.

Representing the results of Verbruggen’s three month artist residency at SomoS in Berlin, the show traverses the fields of painting and installation, bringing together an extensive collection of acrylic, oil, watercolor and alkyd lacquer paintings on wood, presented in an interactive format.

Viewing his artistic role as similar to that of a cartographer, Verbruggen’s paintings establish what can be thought of as an associative, whimsical map, that can be shaped and reshaped by viewers, who are invited to create the exhibition as they see fit.

Since 2012, Verbruggen has produced over 150 paintings that are cataloged, labelled and stored in boxes as part of his ongoing Thesauros, The Treasury project. The Ancient Greek word “thesauros” (θησαυρός) means treasure, treasury or storehouse and is derived from the term “tithenai” which means to put or place.

Verbruggen’s treasury, the blue boxes brimming with paintings, are scattered throughout the gallery space to be inspected by viewers, who then act as curators and place the works on the gallery walls. In this way, participants are able to map their own collective, imaginative landscapes and create visual narratives from the pieces offered by Verbruggen, negotiating with one another in the exhibition space precisely how the selected paintings should be arranged.

Like cartographers with spatial information, Verbruggen’s installation creates a platform in which viewers can curate a sizeable collection into a cohesive and concise display. While in one sense an overload for the viewer, this process may also be relieving: as Ischa Tallieu, Director of Tallieu Art Office, Brussels puts it, “In this digital era where images are generally archived to be browsed on a screen, it’s liberating to touch, feel, smell and interact with the paintings of Jan Verbruggen. “Thesauros, The Treasury” gives the spectator a tactile experience that brings us to the core of painting.”

View the Thesauros collection at Jan Verbruggen’s web site.


About Jan Verbruggen

In his work, Belgian visual artist Jan Verbruggen deals with the fundamental human condition of feeling lost or disoriented. Based in Brussels, the artist works in a number of mediums; primarily painting, drawing and installation, as a way to gain control of the over-stimulation we experience in daily life.

Verbruggen holds a Fine Art, Masters in Visual Arts from LUCA in Brussels. His work has been exhibited both regionally and internationally. With his solo shows he has exhibited extensively throughout Belgium including, Galerie Fortlaan17 in Ghent, SECOND room in Antwerp and Vienna International Apartment in Brussels. He has also participated in numerous group shows throughout Europe, most notably exhibiting at Le Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) Museum for Contemporary Art and the Belvue Museum in Brussels. Verbruggen teaches Painting and Drawing at the Rijks Hoger Onderwijs voor Kunst (RHoK) Academie Brussels.
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Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 2020 6-9pm
Welcome speech by Lotte Ysenbrandt, Deputy General Delegate to the Government of Flanders.

Duration: January 4-18, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7 and by appointment

SomoS, Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967, Berlin (U8 – Schönleinstraße)

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Jan Verbruggen’s artist residency at SomoS is supported by the Flemish Government.

Research Foundation - Flanders