September 29, 2009 - M - Museum Leuven - Jan Vercruysse
September 29, 2009

Jan Vercruysse

Jan Vercruysse​
Works 1975-2009

20 September 2009 – 17 January 2010

Opening September 20, 2009

Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28,
3000 Leuven (Belgium)
T +32 16 20 09 09
m [​at​] leuven.be

On September 20, 2009, a new museum – called M – opened its doors in the city of Leuven. As home to an extensive historical art collection, M will present art-historical exhibitions as well as contemporary art shows of international scope. M’s central location in the university town Leuven, just 25 minutes from Brussels, enables the museum to organize events with regional, national and international relevance. The exhibition program at M will be both monographic and thematic, and will complement the programming of other art centers and museums in Belgium. M sees itself as a platform for artists from Belgium and abroad, for young talent and established names, for presentations of different sizes, formats and rhythms.

The impressive new building by Belgian architect Stéphane Beel begins with a threefold program: a new installation of the collection, a major exhibition on Rogier van der Weyden and the first-ever survey exhibition on the work of Jan Vercruysse.

Jan Vercruysse. Works 1975-2009

Jan Vercruysse (°1948) is one of the most influential Belgian artists today and a regular feature on the international art scene. In the 1980s, he won international recognition with the series TOMBEAUX. His work appears in the collections of major Belgian and international museums. Until now an exhibition featuring a selective survey of his oeuvre – including recent works – has never taken place. An extensive catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition offers a complete survey of the artist’s work to date.

Jan Vercruysse has participated in a number of important artistic manifestations and group exhibitions. He has had solo exhibitions in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1986), Kunsthalle Bern (1989), Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (1990, 1997) and the Belgian pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia (1993). Recently he has exhibited new work in Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York, Centro Culturale Vistamare, Pescara, the Centro Arti Visive Pescheria, Pesaro and in the Turin gallery Tucci Russo. In 2008 his work was shown at Art Basel Unlimited.

For M, Vercruysse has put together an exhibition featuring highlights of his career. Vercruysse’s visual work grows out of his poetry. In 1974, he left off writing poems in order to focus on the visual arts – without, however, abandoning poetic references entirely. In 1984, the central theme of his work shifted from the photographed self-portrait to the sculptural still life. This sculptural work refers primarily to architecture and theater. Columns, panels, furniture, frames, mirrors and a host of other theatrical elements come together to form remarkable entities. Vercruysse’s oeuvre can be divided into several series; each series is a new investigation into the place of art and the artist and contains references to various art-historical backgrounds. The absence of immediately identifiable content confronts the viewer with many enigmas. More than just a producer of artistic and philosophical discourse, however, Vercruysse is primarily a maker of aesthetic objects. His work takes us on a long journey through a landscape populated by masterpieces and tendencies from the past that pose important questions concerning art – an effect achieved primarily through the surprising use of recognizable everyday forms, materials and styles.

Parallel to his exhibition at M, Jan Vercruysse will also be presenting a selective context for his own work at STUK Arts Centre in Leuven. This exhibition, titled “Works, Fragments of a collection” (on view till October 25), brings together works by various artists, including Jean-Marc Bustamante, Thierry De Cordier, Helmut Dorner, Lili Dujourie, Katharina Fritsch, Rodney Graham, Robert Gober, Sherrie Levine, Reinhard Mucha, Juan Muñoz, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince, Thomas Schütte, Gert Verhoeven, Didier Vermeiren, James Welling and Franz West.

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