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Jan Vanriet | Closed Doors

Jan Vanriet | Closed Doors

Exhibition catalogue 22.11.2012 - 10.03.2013
ISBN: 9789057791468
Sizes: 24 x 24 cm
Pages: 104 | English edition
Cover: harcover
Publisher: Roberto Polo Gallery | 2013

Text by Eric Rinckhout, Jan Vanriet and the Beauty of Evil

Closed Doors, an important series of recent paintings by the celebrated Antwerp ‘narrative’ painter and poet Jan Vanriet was the Roberto Polo Gallery's inaugural exhibition.

Jan Vanriet represented Belgium in the 1979 Bienal de Sao Paolo, 1984 Biennale di Venezia and 1990 International Art Festival of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul. The Jury of the latter awarded its Special Prize to Jan Vanriet, along with John Chamberlain and Mimmo Rotella. In 2010, the international press acclaimed Jan Vanriet’s retrospective exhibition Closing Time at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Antwerp, which was visited by over 88 000 people. Jan Vanriet was represented, among others, by the legendary Galleria del Naviglio (Milan), Galerie Brusberg (Hannover and Berlin), as well as Galerie Isy Brachot (Brussels and Paris).His work is in many major public, institutional, corporate and private collections, as well as in numerous public spaces.

Through a restrained ‘narrative’ painting, Jan Vanriet explores the essential and universal by reducing forms to signs and symbols, using meaningful colours, carefully constructed lyrical surfaces and scumbling paint, almost as if he were inventing a mysterious calligraphy with his fragile brushstrokes. His style, or as the French art historian and theorist Michel Laclotte wrote, maniera, is above all a path which he has taken to express the themes that have obsessed him since the beginning: man and nature oppressed by a ceaselessly unfolding history. Jan Vanriet’s personal history is symbiotically related to his painting: his parents met in the concentration camp of Mauthausen. It is no coincidence that the titles of his exhibitions and paintings often refer to this somber past.