Abstract windows, fragments, pixels
Belgian artist Frederik Vercruysse explores the image as a window that opens onto the real and the imaginary. The figurative space takes new shapes in the defined frame, sometimes blurred by frosted glass or a projected shadow. At different levels, the object appears in a humanised landscape, but without a human presence. It is transformed by daylight, at dawn or dusk, creating visual impressions that emerge from a facade, a landscape, a bouquet of flowers… The still life takes shape, rising from its ashes to come alive behind or beyond the curtains that separate us from the real. The figurative image becomes abstract in a physical world that welcomes it, but without allowing It to materialise. All these free and artistic interpretations from the artist, Frederik Vercruysse, lose themselves in the gaze and emotion of the spectator.
While the glass obscures the view, the clouds, the noise from the street, the light can also dazzle us and present us with a new perspective on the world. That is where the beauty emerges and resides… in these small embrasures that expand our customary field of vision to other possible realities: an invitation to dream, a respite from the ambient brouhaha. The photography connects us to the silence and to ourselves, to a representation that can duplicate without repeating itself. The frame imposes itself like an opening, but the image remains free within these contours that we often try to impose on it. In the exhibition Windows, there is a scenario that emerges: the relationship of the human to the digital, highlighting these fragments, the reframing of this software, and the sharing on the social media that disconnect us from our real life, plunging us into the stream and flow of information, over which the eye and the mind lose control and meaning.
Frederik Vercruysse invites the visitor to confront the analogue image pushed to the limit, pixelated, becoming truer to Itself the closer one gets. Purposefully blurred and distorted in a decomposition that is recreated by our eye that tries to capture its presence, the composition of the image becomes impressionistic and is reborn as the pointillist work of a painter with small brushstrokes.
Windows thus conveys, in Vercruysse’s unique language, a body of poetic images that respond to one another between non-pictorial pictures, Window Stills, and composed objects reflecting the ‘mirror of the soul’, the Light Boxes and the Mirror Boxes. The glass, the windows, the glass plates of the photographer of yesteryear become the common thread of this intense investigation. For years, Frederik Vercruysse has tried to combine an analytical, realistic, objective and documentary spirit in his photographic work. He uses the camera like a hightech tool to produce images in which the frame is entirely staged. By distancing himself, he assembles fragments of the images that he produces over time, to compose lyrical, even hidden, narratives. He thus passes on the feeling of existence, presence and absence, light and its intense rays.
By breaking away from his profession as a photographer, the artist Vercruysse releases his emotions in a more subjective, albeit highly structured, construction. The image of a bouquet on the windowsill becomes blurry, timeless, almost evanescent. The colour palette becomes more graphic, the pixel conveying the feeling, the fragment, what has been or remains hidden for fear of revealing too much. The window we look at every day also separates us from the outside, it protects us and creates the framework for our daily life and our great escape. When it changes context, moving to an environment other than everyday life, the window becomes a space of contemplation, of escape, beyond which the visual experience is transformed and becomes very different. While the photograph is pixelated, it reveals the construction of an image made of repeated small blocks that can be abstracted or, on the contrary, appear as a backdrop. Imperfection is necessary, the pixel reveals the quality of an analogue image, authentic and very intimate – the sign and signature of the artist Frederik Vercruysse.
In the backlight or under the light of a Light Box, in the diffraction of an image escaping and vanishing from a Mirror Box, Windows paints and depicts a new nature of image and photography. Through the production of glass objects in collaboration with Atelier Mestdagh, a stained window glass workshop located in Merelbeke in Belgium (listed on Homo Faber, for excellence in craftmanship in Europe), Spazio Nobile has edited three new creations by Frederik Vercruysse, in limited edition, for their launch during the Brussels Gallery Weekend:
Windows Stills, photographs, 5 + 2AP
Windows Light Boxes, bright rooms, 3 + 2AP
Windows Mirror Glass Boxes, psyches, 3 + 2AP
The photographs were translated into three-dimensional objects whose strength lies in the transparency and subtlety of a living material. The glass has been handblown and laminated in the fire. It translates the space in a pictorial and reflective way with a visual scope linked to the space of the gallery. The nature of the image comes to life thanks to the luminous glass frame and shimmering sides cut in the stained-glass workshop. Interplaying with invisibility and with an addition of a new layer of handmade laminated glass or mirror glass, Vercruysse explores the tridimensional and visual effects of framing and unframing his photographs. The subtle play of colours in the photograph and the amplitude of the play of light and shadow allow the image to float in its own space-time. The image becomes an object or icon, and is reflected, as if in an Art Deco stained glass window, in an abstraction that connects the spiritual in art.
Lise Coirier, June 2021.