Patrick Van Caeckenbergh (b. 1960, Aalst, Belgium; lives and works in Sint-Kornelis-Horebeke, Belgium) works across multiple mediums, often combining sculpture, drawing, and collage in a systematic collection and classification of images and information. His work is the result of years of dedicated research that draw on his extensive library of scientific diagrams, religious stories, fairy tales, and literary texts. In his work, Van Caeckenbergh explores the study of specific scientific fields, using taxonomy, cartography, genealogy, cosmology, and other classification systems to organize his ideas and studies. Each project is conceived as a visual articulation of interconnected information that he has gathered through this intensive research. For his 2015 exhibition with Lehmann Maupin, Van Caeckenbergh premiered his series, Drawing of Old Trees during wintry days, that he developed continuously over the course of seven years. Although the drawings are entirely fictional, the artist renders each one with such precision and detail that they appear photorealistic. While the trees are mere figments of the artist’s vivid imagination, his methodical classification and painstaking attention to detail contribute to the project’s false sense of realism. Van Caeckenbergh often playfully combines the information he finds with his own interpretations, thereby creating new stories based on his encyclopedic methodology.
Solo exhibition of Van Caeckenbergh’s work have been organized at the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent (forthcoming, 2017); Musée Gassendi, Digne-les-Bains, France (2016); the M-Museum, Leuven, Belgium (2013); La Maison Rouge, Paris (2007); Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nîmes, France (2005); and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2002). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include the 13th Fellbach Triennial of Small-Scale Sculpture, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2016); The Great Acceleration: Art in the Anthropocene, Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (2014); For the blind man, exhibited at Culturgest Lisbon, Portugal; De Appel Arts Center, Amsterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2009-10); ABRACADABRA, Tate Modern, London (1999). Van Caeckenbergh has participated in multiple biennials, including Il Palazzo Enciclopedico, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); the 5th Lyon Biennale (2000); and the 45th Venice Biennale (1993). Van Caeckenbergh’s work is in numerous international public and private collections, including the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain, France; Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp, Belgium; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France; Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium; Museum Overholland, Nieuwersluis, Netherlands; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium; and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT.