TORCH Gallery is pleased to present Paintings 2006/2007, a solo show by Dutch artist Hans Broek (1965, NL), which will run from 3 November through 22 December.
During the mid-nineties, Hans Broek came to international prominence with his partly fictitious cityscapes, the alienating quality of which speaks of modernity and its way of seeing. Whereas his “landscapes of the mind” –as his work has once been described—can be set against the genre of landscape painting, his latest endeavour relates to a large extent upon yet other traditional genres, that of portraiture and history painting. Hans Broek, having already focused on new subject matters for some years now, is dedicating himself to studying the oeuvre of Old Masters and emblematic images taken from our contemporary visual culture. Exclusively for TORCH Gallery, Hans Broek presents a selection of new works featuring personalities from our contemporary star system.
The work of Hans Broek has often been related to the oeuvre of well-known artists throughout the history of art, among others, the seventeenth century Dutch painter Hercules Seghers with his landscapes of invention, and Edward Hopper with his depiction of modern boredom and loneliness. Hans Broek’s latest endeavour constitutes an attempt to relate to this genealogy in a different way. His new body of work rests upon appropriating and staging anew imageries from the history of the Fine Arts and the cinema. Just as many other modern painters have done –Van Gogh and Cézanne for instance—Hans Broek proceeds to studying chosen icons and expresses his contemporary sensibility. His new attempt not only includes references to the visual culture of the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the seventeenth century, but also to contemporary popular imagery. And as he goes on, his brushstrokes become more spontaneous and seemingly unconstrained by criteria other than the wandering of his own hand across the canvas. Whereas in his early body of work, formal abstraction took the shape of geometrical grids, his new work displays a different sensibility akin to a fin-de-siècle style –light, smiling and unbidden.
Paintings 2006/2007, a show of new paintings by Hans Broek will run from 3 November through 22 December. New works by Hans Broek can also be seen from 21 October through 16 November at Tanya Rumpff Gallery in Haarlem. A new catalogue will be on sale (Veenman Publishers, 2007).