Jan De Vliegher

Reflections

20.11.2004 - 27.02.2005
80 little paintings portray all kinds of water surfaces reflecting the light like mirrors: the reflecting light of a swimmer in a pool, the mirror image of overhanging branches, the erratic movement of the water surface, sun reflections on the surging water on a rocky coastline, light reflections in the waves of the North Sea, the depth of the water in Bruges. ‘Reflections’ is also the result of artificial reflection. The artist investigated the effect of light on the color in his paintings in an almost scientific manner. Forms are vaguely suggested, while the colors show real precision. Up close the works are almost abstract, but from a distance they appear photorealistic. This surprising duality gives each work a visual attractiveness.

The works of Jan De Vliegher have a realistic character and are located in the figurative field. The Vliegher does not adhere to the narrative or the anecdote, but is searching for universal situations. He is no history painter, he tells no stories, he does not engage in politics, has no message, unless one which is purely painterly. He should be regarded as an abstract painter, although he paints the reality on the basis of photographs.

From the countless photographic recordings he chooses a limited number of images that are carefully crafted with the computer. Composition, form, color and perspective are manipulated and modified in preparation of the painting. In his paintings, De Vliegher is looking for the magic moment where figuration ends and abstraction begins, that instant when the realistic illusion ends and the subject changes into paint.

Jan De Vliegher paints light. The light which reflects until it separates from the object and almost forms abstract compositions. What stands out again and again in his work is the joy of painting.

Jan De Vliegher (°1964) lives and works in Bruges. He studied painting at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (Ghent). In 1998 he debuted solo in the exhibition space of the Association for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent. In 2000 he won the Prize for Visual Arts of the Province of West Flanders.

De Vliegher participated in important exhibitions such as ‘Trapped Reality’ (Santa Monica – Barcelona, 1997), ‘The Gardens of Granada’ (PMKK Ostend, 2002), ‘Marines in Confrontation’ (Beaufort, PMMK, Ostend, 2003), ‘Fading’ (Museum of Ixelles, 2009) and ‘Schatzkammer’ (Gaasbeek Castle, 2011). Works by Jan De Vliegher were included in the collections of Dexia Brussels, Mercator Insurance Antwerp, the Flemish Parliament in Brussels and the Museum for Modern Art in Ostend.

Selected works