Another Realm, 2013, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm
Hans Vendekerckhove's artwork has a strong, contemplative presence. Although he predominately paints the perceived reality, each work is a self-portrait. As an individual and as an artist, he has a strong relation with the nature. He paints an imaginary world based on childhood memories of gardens, greenhouses, long-distant trips and long walks. Sometimes the landscapes are desolate, sometimes with one (himself?) or more figures. Vandekerckhove is also a historian, inspired by art history, architecture, literature and film. There are references in his work to Thomas Mann, Samuel Beckett, Andrej Tarkovski and Mies van der Rohe amongst others.
Much like the Flemish Primatives, Vandekerckhove makes use of the glazing technique. Hereby thin, transparent layers of oil paint are applied over and over to a white background. As a result, the different thin, colored layers permit a light to shine through. The white background is reverberated, creating exceptional colour depth and numerous nuances. Distinctively, the astonishing colour palette evokes a magical, timeless presence.
For several years now, architectural motives play an important role in Hans Vandekerckhove's paintings. This is reflected in his painting from 2008 'The Philosopher's Greenhouse'. He is inspired by a greenhouse in the Monte Perdido and in L.M. Barcelona where Mies van de Rohe's pavilion on the Montjuic in Barcelona was the central focal point.
In his piece 'Another Realm', Vandekerckhove is inspired by the thermal baths designed by Peter Zumthor in Vals, Switzerland. This building consists of 60,000 stone slabs of dark Valser quartzite and forms a perfect marriage between architecture and nature.