Gallery Visitors Take on Curator’s Role

"Thesauros, The Treasury" - Jan Verbruggen

04.01.2020 2pm  - 18.01.2020 7pm

Press Release: painting, installation, interactive art, cartography, mapping

Visitors Take On Curator’s Role in Belgium Artist Jan Verbruggen’s Solo Show “Thesauros, The Treasury”

WHAT: Thesauros, The Treasury – Exhibition of painting and installation by Jan Verbruggen (BE)

WHEN: Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 2020 6-9pm
Duration: January 4-18, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7 or by appointment

WHERE: SomoS Art House – Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967, Berlin (U8 – Schönleinstraße)

Belgian visual artist Jan Verbruggen’s solo exhibition offers an interactive experience in which viewers can browse his extensive archive of paintings and curate their own collection of his work within the gallery space.

BERLIN—November 15, 2019—As the debut exhibition on SomoS’ 2020 program, between January 4 and 18, the results of Belgian visual artist Jan Verbruggen’s three month artist residency are presented in his solo exhibition Thesauros, The Treasury.

Traversing the fields of painting and installation, Verbruggen brings together an extensive collection of acrylic, oil, watercolor and alkyd lacquer paintings on wood in the interactive exhibition; Thesauros, The Treasury. 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.

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 must 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:

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.

Ischa Tallieu, Director of Tallieu Art Office, Brussels


In Thesauros, The Treasury, it is not only cartographers or the artist himself who navigates an intense amount of information, but also the viewer. SomoS proudly presents Verbruggen’s solo exhibition and interactive installation, which allows a space of dream-like exploration through a multitude of the artist’s fictional worlds.

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, SECONDroom 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.

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

Research Foundation - Flanders


Social Media:

Visitors take on curator’s role in Belgium artist Jan Verbruggen’s solo show “Thesauros, The Treasury” at SomoS. #JanVerbruggen #exhibition #painting #Berlin #SomoSBerlin #interactiveart #BelgianArt

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Twitter: @SomoS_Berlin

About SomoS

Selected by Artslant Magazine as one of Berlin’s most interesting art project organizations, SomoS Art House provides space and resources for the production, presentation, and reflection of the arts. SomoS’ ever-expanding Artist-in-Residency program and ambitious exhibitions and event schedule allows for unique opportunities with artists, organizers, and curators to realize an array of artistic endeavors.

SomoS’ mission is to create an international open framework for innovative arts, exhibitions, education and creative cooperation.

SomoS Art House Berlin
Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.OG, 10967 Berlin

T: +49 (0)172 3118431
+49 (0)30 89563000