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Patrick Van Caeckenbergh

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This text presents an overview of the works of artist Patrick Van Caeckenbergh from the eighties until present. Patrick Van Caeckenbergh tells of a man who tries to reshape the world in a highly personal yet universal manner. His fantastic collages and sculptures of figures are created by restructuring every day objects. With few means he thus creates a fascinating world of art works that appeal to our imagination and remind us of fairy tales. Van Caeckenbergh held exhibitions at Tate Gallery in London, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Venice Biennale, the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and many more. Patrick Van Caeckenbergh was born, in Aalst, to working-class parents in 1960. After secondary school, Van Caeckenbergh attended the Art Academy of Aalst, where he studied sculpture and ceramics. He was awarded the prestigious Valerius De Saedeleer Prize for his final-year project, a work that was subsequently inducted into Aalst's municipal art collection. He then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Van Caeckenbergh's work then followed four phases, the first coinciding with his time in Ghent. After stumbling upon an empty factory building, this temporary living accommodation for study and work became an ever-changing artwork in itself. Dubbed Living Box, Van Caeckenbergh combined and arranged all of his knowledge and memories of philosophy, art and art history in a cabinet of curiosities. This period reflected mainly on his childhood years and home environment as he set out to define his own mode of artistic expression. After completing his studies and returning to more familiar surroundings, he set out to explore avenues for processing it and relating it to the world. The detailed collages from this period are meticulously constructed. They incorporate wallpaper from his home, clippings from the encyclopedia series his mother gave to him, and numerous references to the environment in which he grew up as well as to his own oeuvre. At the same time, they bear witness to an overwhelming desire to capture and store all the knowledge in the world. Van Caeckenbergh then took leave of the familiar outside world and, still like an anthropologist, began to explore mainly his own life. He attempted to portray the multitude of complexities of the human condition. The current period coincides with the artist's move to the rural village of Sint-Kornelis-Horebeke. This work exudes a new sense of peace. It is a reflection of the soothing rhythm of the Flemish countryside. Text in English, French and Dutch.
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About the Author

Natacha Pugnet is a doctor in Art Science at the l Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Nimes. She is an art critic whose writing is mainly centred on contemporary art.

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