Sunday, January 8, 2012

Structuring the Elements: The Art of Bob Verschueren

The internet has been abuzz lately with the so-called "Wind Paintings" of Bob Verschueren, and rightly so. They bring to almost clichéd fruition the sad loveliness of mono no aware, premised, as they are, on the inevitability that time means their destruction. Composed of charcoal, red iron oxide, chalk, and other things that can be blown by the breeze or washed away by the waves, their beauty is their brevity. 
Wind Painting I
Crushed charcoal

Wind Painting XVIII
Terra verte, natural umber

But his other works are easily equal to his Wind Paintings, and speak of a broader program in his art. Verschueren works with the elements, obviously, but what I'm interested in is the way he practices structuring and unstructuring them, the places where he meets resistance, and where he chooses to either overpower or submit to it.

Installation V/06
Salagon Priory,
Mane (F)
maple branches, terracotta pot

Installation II/92
Atelier 340,
Brussels (B),

The imposition of verticality and its forcible disorganization, or the presentation of living plant life and its death by desiccation; he plays with nature and, by attempting to control it demonstrates that it will not be controlled.

 Installation V/95
Stichting Open Space,
Amsterdam (NL),

Installation VII/87
Atelier 340,
Brussels (B),
pine needles


  1. What are the dimensions of Mr. Vershueren's 4 installation works?

  2. The artist doesn't include dimensions in the (otherwise thorough) documentation of the works on his website. I'd be interested to learn why. Size, of course, matters a great deal in many installation pieces. It can mean the difference between being able to breeze past a piece, and being frozen in your tracks by one.