Jan Verbruggen

Belgian Visual Artist

01.10.2019   - 31.12.2019

In his work, 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 compares himself to a cartographer, whose purpose is to represent the world through maps. Primarily working with paint on board, his work is often a result of daydreaming, utopian and alternate realities that are unknown territory to the artist. By exploring his subconscious, Verbruggen aims to open up what he calls “an embodied space” counterbalancing the pervasive worldview in which the distinction between the real and the imaginary becomes increasingly problematic. Using various recurring symbols and motifs, the artist seeks to find safe harbour in this space, ultimately offering an artistic exploration of the relation between the “map” and the “territory.”

Supported by a grant from the Flemish Government, Jan Verbruggen joins SomoS as an Artist-in-Residence, between October and December 2019, taking a sabbatical from his academic position teaching Painting and Drawing at the Rijks Hoger Onderwijs voor Kunst RHoK Academie Brussels, to work on a solo exhibition that is part of an ongoing project Thesauros, The Treasury.

On view January 4-18 2020, the show combines his extensive catalogue of artworks and an interactive installation. During the exhibition, visitors are invited to explore the artists archive and create personalized arrangements of his paintings. The possibilities of combinations and displays are innumerable, but viewers are encouraged to make their own unique connections between the works that feature quirky visual displays of the artists personal musings. Thesauros, The Treasury thus establishes an ongoing commentary on how we come to terms with our ever-complicating routines and social realities in modern society.

At SomoS, Verbruggen took part in the AIR Exchange Meetup, and several Peer to Peer Critique Sessions. November 16th 2019, Verbruggen’s work was presented to a stream of visitors during the Open Studios Neukölln 2019, a large open studio event taking place throughout the Berlin-Neukölln district.

Verbruggen has completed aggregate teacher training in Audiovisual & Visual Arts, LUCA, Brussels, 2008, and holds a Fine Art, masters degree 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, I Told You So. The World Is Flat at Galerie Fortlaan17 in Ghent, What’s in a piece of soil? at SECONDroom in Antwerp and LAND. A sense of place at 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.

The artist participated in residencies at La Scuola Internazionale Di Grafica (Venice, Italy, 2012), Het Frans Masereel Centrum (Kasterlee, Belgium, 2011), Arteles Center (Haukijärvi, Finland, 2011), Ionion Center of The Arts (Kefalonia, Greece, 2011), European Artists TV (Hällefors, Sweden, 2010).

Jan Verbruggen homepage

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

Research Foundation - Flanders