Visual Artist
« 1/3 »

Frank Van den Broeck operates from a fairly isolated, withdrawn position-which is typical for him. The studio is his domain. It is there that he hones his visual language, there that he perfects his techniques, there that he sees, sometimes as a gift, sometimes as the result of a persistent search, the images tumbling over one another and revealing new worlds that rise above the existing, escape from the everyday and the understandable. Van den Broeck's studio is a laboratory where images can transform through almost clinical experimentation into a visual comprehensibility that surpasses the rules of the game of art and come into their own in unexpected and spectacular worlds. This approach comes at a price-and that price is a certain essential isolation. Frank van den Broeck has exhibited regularly over the past twenty years: in gallery exhibitions at The Living Room, at Galerie Slewe, and in one-man shows at the Print Room of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, in the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, again in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and at the Stichting De Pont in Tilburg. His work is also found in numerous public collections and is cherished by many private collectors. It is clear that Van den Broeck has been working steadily and consistently on a highly individual oeuvre since 1980. When he first went public in 1981, it was as a young and extraordinarily promising artist who was an exceptionally striking exponent of the innovations in the art of the time, in which the dreamt and the drawn image occupied a prominent place, summed up in the image of the 'thinking hand'. Van den Broeck has not deviated from that course by so much as a hair's breadth. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, this resulted in a deepening and intensification of the themes of the early years. In the 1990s, the emphasis on the formal qualities of the image was elaborated further in an amplification of the more substantive aspects of the work. In the overall image of the volatile actuality of the mundane, Van den Broeck's work is a constant. And yet, until now, it has not been possible to get a full, broad overview of the artist's whole oeuvre. We are therefore delighted to provide the artist with the opportunity to evaluate and chart his own work in this publication. The Stichting thanks Dirk van Weelden, Lisette Pelsers and Jorinde Seijdel for their essays, each of which examines one aspect of the work.

This publication would not have been possible without the generous support of the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, Stichting De Pont in Tilburg, Stichting Fonds voor Beeldende Kunsten, Vormgeving en Bouwkunsten in Amsterdam and the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation. We should like to express our immense gratitude for their confidence in the artist and in the project for this book.

Egbert Dommering
Chairman Frank Van den Broeck Foundation