A Belgian artist known in Europe for surreal collages and assemblages that reference fables and fairy tales, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh presents two obsessive, yet playful, bodies of work in his first show with the gallery.
The first is a series of hyperrealist drawings of gnarly, leafless trees in graphite that look like black-and-white photographs. Drawn from memory and imagination, the trees are embellished with fantastical elements, such as faces, feet, doorways, handles and bells. One resembles an Arcimboldo portrait in bark, while another has an Art Nouveau entrance fit for a grand hotel.
Complementing the drawings is an installation consisting of some 200 glass bell jars of differing size set on industrial shelving coated with a mirrored finish. The jars, which once protected statues of saints, are dusty and marked, yet the whole evokes a sense of the infinite. Taken together, the works suggest the image of the mind as an empty vessel in which flights of fancy take root.