Wall composition on glazed enamelled steel plating (2012)
The corridor heading towards the suburbs is clad with a checkerboard of photos and solid gray panels in pyroengraved sheet metal. These are the “miniatures végétales” (vegetal miniatures), microscopic images that only exist in an ephemeral condition and which can only be revealed thanks to photography. In 2004, Bob Verschueren was invited to submit a contribution of 12 pages for a book on gardens. In order to do this, he chose to focus on the common element of gardens and his installations: the leaf. He wanted to afford this small natural element the status of a sculpture, and intervened only minimally. He merely modified the shape of the leaf, adding nothing. He did not use glue or any other adhesive beyond the stem. After the first 12 photos, having completed enough for the book, the artist, who was so taken with the subject, continued to pursue this visual quest. His works are a way of playfully calling into question the sculptural art of natural elements. The small transformations he makes to a leaf or a twig by folding it, rolling it or cutting it, offer a new view of the plant world.
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BOB VERSCHUEREN (Bruxelles, 1945)
As a self-taught artist, Bob Verschueren began his artistic career in painting. In 1978, he was frustrated with the limits imposed by the canvas and he shifted his focus to nature by treating landscapes with natural dry pigments. This radical embrace of the ephemeral led him to see nature as a source of inspiration, and plants became the essential inspiration for his work. He is best known for his installations made from natural materials such as branches, leaves, needles and plants. In 1985, he created his first “vegetal installation”, an extremely ephemeral work in which the process of decomposition of the raw materials formed the central theme. The installations, generally presented inside exhibition spaces rather than outdoors, give shape to the artist’s reflections on the indestructible bond between life and death. He has exhibited his work in Belgium and abroad. With the help of the Centre Henri Pousseur, he created a soundscape entitled “Catalogue de plantes” (catalogue of plants), 16 tracks which play the music of a plant or a vegetable. Bob Verschueren is a member of the Fine Arts division of the Belgian Royal Academy.