In the paintings by Jan Verbruggen surfaces and volumes are tilted in space, without holding on to a conventional perspective. Strange figures overlook landscapes together with the viewer, or are immersed in the scenes. Verbruggen explores the boundaries of the territory that surrounds him. Orientation is essential in this process, like a map is indispensable when traveling. Not only the artist is searching for navigation and timing, also the spectator is challenged to think along. This reflection process is essential to the artist, as no artwork just ‘happens’. After all, the artist’s studio functions as a place for research, where the artist collects texts, pictures, drawings, etc. to reconstruct this fragmented information in a painting. Bright, elementary colours contrast with a deep blue, almost transparent background. Verbruggen is convinced that contrasts facilitate thinking. Furthermore, the distinctive colours apply structure.
The questioning of the position of the spectator is at the heart of Jan Verbruggen’s work. Is the painting showing us a real image or is it just a projection? We are confronted with a screen, a tilted volume in an infinite space. This cinematic impact of Verbruggen’s work lies in his study of time. The artist wants to capture the sequence of a specific action in one moment. (Melanie Deboutte)