Working from a wide range of stimuli that includes scientific drawings and mythical fairytales, Belgian artist Patrick Van Caeckenbergh creates delicate drawings and meticulously organised installations. New York’s Lehmann Maupin have just opened a solo show of his work.
Van Caeckenbergh lives a largely secluded life, studying philosophy and Belgian Surrealism to draw inspiration for his work. There is an acute attention to detail in these pieces — which take root in reality but are made fantastical through a subtle reshaping of the usual order of things. This show brings together some highly detailed pencil drawings of twisted tree roots and branches, and an installation of ordered bell jars on metal shelves.
Many artists work with photorealism, but often it is with the intention of looking at the modern digital image and pushing the limits of the handmade. These drawings are more complicated than this. Yes, his images could be mistaken for photographic images, but not the shiny, high definition photographs of modern cameras, more the worn black and whites of a previous time.
These drawings convey an interestingly warped reality, where small unnatural or man-made occurrences pop up in the images, almost as a second thought. A super realistic old oak will be depicted in all its’ natural glory, just a small carved door at the base of its’ trunk suggesting that anything out of the ordinary is happening.